Brenda Rhodes is every Volunteer Manager’s dream: she recruits, mobilizes and trains volunteers—voluntarily! She helps other volunteers sort thousands of pounds of food—on average 10,000-12,000 pounds per night, which is enough food to provide over 6,700 meals to deserving families and individuals!
This food finds its way into the hands of over 800 hunger relief agencies in 38 counties throughout North Georgia and the Southeast. These partner agencies are made up of daycare centers, youth programs, senior centers, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, residential shelters, rehabilitation centers and food pantries. They, in turn, serve or deliver food to people in need. A diverse group of people ultimately benefit from the Brenda’s services: the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, young families, single parent families, battered women, newly unemployed, working poor and children. In addition, Brenda volunteers for numerous fundraisers and special events, and recruits volunteers from IBM every year for our largest fundraiser, the Hunger Walk.
Brenda is constantly thinking of new ways to build our volunteer program. For example, a few months ago, she informed us of a matching grant program offered by her workplace- if employees volunteer for a certain number of hours at a non-profit organization, the company will match their volunteer hours with a monetary donation to that organization. Brenda is constantly spreading the word about the work of the Atlanta Community Food Bank to the community.
In addition to helping provide food for those who need, Brenda also gives her time to other agencies that minister to animals, to causes supporting education, to celebrating the accomplishments of physically challenged individuals, and to many others. Not only does Brenda recruit volunteers everywhere she goes, but she is always present at every volunteer activity, supervising and taking full responsibility for the volunteers she recruits.
Brenda embodies the spirit of volunteerism all over Atlanta, not only in service herself, but tirelessly teaching, informing and leading others in service. In my opinion, she is the face of community service advocacy for Georgia and living proof of the power that just one person can wield to change life for so many others.