Blaise is a senior at George Mason High School and started volunteering at AFAC in 2014 after hearing about our organization from a friend and wanted to get involved for herself. After volunteering for a few months, Blaise approached AFAC with a proposal for her own project to help AFAC collect donations at the Columbia Pike Farmers’ Market and to support our largest market vendor, Penn Farm. She took the initiative to talk to the manager of the farm to see how she could support them further due to their generosity to AFAC. Between June and November, Blaise recruited and led her own team of volunteers to glean the market and to assist Penn Farm with the breakdown of their stand.
Blaise then followed up her project with a gleaning trip in December. “Recently, I traveled to Penn Farms where I was able to pick more than 1,700 lbs of fresh produce for AFAC,” says Blaise. “Harvesting cabbages and broccoli was a new experience for me, but I loved every minute of it. A productive gleaning project combined with a great group of volunteers made for one of my best days at AFAC.”
In addition to donating her time to AFAC, Blaise found ways to fundraise money towards AFAC’s causes. As part of her school’s Community Outreach Committee, she was instrumental in selecting AFAC as the beneficiary charity for their Halloween Hootenanny, a Halloween festival at George Mason High School for students and members of the community. In 2014, Blaise presented a $500 check in person to AFAC staff. In 2015, she was able to present a $2,000 check to AFAC.
On the importance of volunteering, Blaise says, “humans are built to nurture and care for others. However, in our seemingly hectic world it is easy to get caught up ourselves and our own activities. Volunteering allows us to take a step back, think about others, and help our community.”
Thank you Blaise for your support and dedication to AFAC!