A few years ago while Phyllis Tilton attended bible study, the pastor mentioned that she would like the group to be more involved in the community. A few days later, in May of 2017, while Phyllis was browsing Facebook, she saw the Muscatine Community Food pantry was in need of volunteers and she decided that would be where she would volunteer.

Phyllis volunteers because she likes helping other people and doing things for others. It’s rewarding when older people come in to the food pantry and they are smiling at you because you’ve made their day and given them food to eat. Phyllis also states she’s a senior and needs to stay active. It’s good for your heart to do things for other people, so I just stay. She says she’ll probably be there until they throw her out. She keeps telling them, “one of these days I’m going to retire.” Pam (food pantry coordinator) keeps saying, “Not yet, you’re not!” There is a great group of volunteers at the pantry right now, they are awesome, they all work good together, and Phyllis says that makes a big difference in the volunteer experience.

When asked how many hours a week she volunteers, Phyllis states, “Oh, I don’t really keep track of my hours. I’m there every day because we have deliveries every day. Yesterday I was there 6am to 6pm because of the all-day pantry.”

Phyllis believes volunteering is important because without volunteers many programs would not be working. “You have to have volunteers. They can’t afford to pay people for all the programs. We’d be broke. There wouldn’t be money to buy the things needed.”