Our staff and volunteers at Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) took the opportunity to celebrate MLK day in conjunction with Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) to bag produce for families in need. Not only was it a great opportunity to work with other members of the local community, but it was wonderful working together in a way to really impact others. There was great synergy and motivation between all the volunteers, in what was an amazing turnout.
The day started at 9:30 am, everyone arrived at Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Arlington, VA, blue shirts on and ready to volunteer. The staff from AFAC along with IRUSA staff had helped prepare the stations for produce packing, mesh bag cutting and crate stacking, where volunteers would be helping.
The representatives at AFAC provided us with a background of what their organization stands for essentially, why it’s important to be involved in events like these and showed us the procedures of how to bag the items and organize the crates. Each station had the instructions of how many of the selected produce to pack in a bag and how full each crate should be, making the process run smoothly and rather quickly.
The event was anticipated to end around 1:00 pm but due to the phenomenal volunteer turnout, all items were bagged and put on crates by 11:30 am. At this event, AFAC was provided with 10,000 lbs. of produce including; oranges, apples, onions and carrots.
It was great to see everyone use their time off from work and school to volunteer to help families in need by something as simple as bagging produce that was donated from local supermarkets, with a significant outcome of serving over a thousand families. It was a greatly organized event with separate stations for different produce, bagging and piling crates which made it easy to maneuver around stations wherever help was needed.