I believe that it’s fulfillment—not happiness—that people are seeking most in life. Happiness is fleeting and comes and goes as easy as the rain we’ve had recently throughout Southern California. Happiness is a state of emotion that is based on variables we sometimes cannot control. Whereas fulfillment is a state of being knowing that our lives are making a difference through the actions and choices that we make. What are you doing to give your life a sense of fulfillment?
For me, fulfillment has always been about serving or volunteering. Since I was a young kid growing up in the San Fernando Valley, serving was ingrained in my life. I have memories of handing out hot Thanksgiving meals to the homeless as a small boy. I served in my youth group, served at church, and served my parents by mowing the yard and pulling weeds— OK, maybe those were my chores, but you get the idea. When I make the decision to volunteer and serve others, I have the greatest sense of fulfillment and that brings me joy!
I have good news for you, you can find fulfillment today! The two easiest ways is by giving of your time or resources.
Perhaps that’s why so many of you who love the Valley Food Bank already do this. But maybe there are some who are still searching for that missing piece, that certain something that will bring upon a sense of fulfillment.
There are two opportunities right now where you can truly make a difference in serving others. You can come to our wonderful Food Bank in Pacoima and lend a hand. It’s easy. Just visit our website at valleyfoodbank.org/ volunteer and read a bit about what we’re looking for and how you can help. The other way is by giving of your resources.
Have you heard that CalFresh Emergency Food Allotment has now ended? This was a COVID-era benefit given to struggling families, and it’s now run its course. Unfortunately, this is making it even harder for families and individuals with the cost of food rising dramatically. This will impact families by, on average, $261 each month. That’s a lot of groceries they are unable to afford now.
We’ve already seen the impact on our pantries. In January, we fed 7,300 families and in February we fed nearly 9,000—every month it’s continuing to grow. I’m optimistic in nature, but I believe it’s going to get harder before it gets better. Thankfully, our matching challenge campaign is going on now! Thanks to a group of generous donors, we will match any donation up to $15,000 this month only! That means for every dollar raised, we will get $2—that’s incredible! Visit valleyfoodbank.org/donate to help us reach our goal!
I hope you’ll start your journey toward fulfillment now and either get involved by spending some of your time as a volunteer, by making a donation—or both—to help those in need in the San Fernando Valley. Experience the same joy that I receive and together we can make a difference in the lives of those living in desperate times.
Thank you, Jeremiah Booth Director, Valley Food Bank