Jessica Wilson (pictured, far left) proudly participated in her second Day of Action, leading a team of dedicated United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) employees in a community gardening project at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. Jessica previously served at a Day of Action gardening activity in Keene, New Hampshire. She is excited that upon her move to New York State she could continue to help out in Day of Action, United Way’s National Day of Service.
Jessica was particularly enthused to encourage her colleagues to volunteer alongside her, as the Operations Manager at UNFI. They were able to make a difference together. “Volunteering makes me feel valuable as a UNFI employee and as a community member.”
Volunteering is part of UNFI’s philosophy. The local Distribution Center specifically focuses on projects that address green initiatives within the community and promote food access. Therefore, the Newburgh Armory Unity Center community gardening project was perfect! The community garden located at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center encourages students to participate in engaged learning activities right in the garden; they learn the importance of healthy eating and help grow their own vegetables.
“We loved having the opportunity to give back! As we are new to the area this project was wonderful in helping UNFI forge local partnerships,” explained Jessica.
Jessica has participated in past gardening projects in Philadelphia, Providence, Rhode Island and of course New Hampshire. Gardening is one of her favorite activities and she is glad that she can integrate this skill into community activities.
She was inspired to begin volunteering as a child by her father, who believed in working hard and being a force for good in the community. She aims to inspire her colleagues to be of service as much as possible as her father inspired her.
Jessica is already researching additional volunteer opportunities at community kitchens and back to school programs. Although she is always looking to garden!
To find your volunteer passion go to volunteer.uwdor.org.
—Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization