Like many of you, I occasionally donate items to the Goodwill store on the west side of Madison or call St. Vincent de Paul to come pick up something from my house. If I’m dropping something off, it’s usually a pretty quick drive through. If it’s a pick-up at my house, the truck shows up, they load up my donations and they’re gone.
Simple. Actually, maybe a little too simple.
The drive-through and the pick-up mean I don’t have to go into the store. And that means I don’t see who and what is inside. It’s not as “real” to me. Until this morning, that is.
A few weeks back an e-mail was circulated to UW athletics staff that would be here in Orlando for the Champs Sports Bowl. The e-mail was from Dawn Rudolph, the wife of tight ends coach and former Badger standout offensive lineman Joe Rudolph, and it offered the opportunity to take part in a “volunteer activity” in Orlando the day after Christmas.
Dawn had arranged for anyone interested to visit a local food pantry and thrift store where volunteers would help to stock shelves, sort clothing, make a donation themselves and just assist for a couple hours in any way they could. About 30 people signed up.
We drove over Friday morning to the Destiny Foundation of Central Florida and spent the next two hours stocking and sorting. There were coaches wives, support staff, senior staff and family members, including several children.
The Destiny Foundation of Central Florida provides a wide array of services to those in need of food, jobs, medical care, clothing and more. And they’re doing much-needed work, particularly in this difficult economic time in our country. Many folks are struggling in Florida, Wisconsin and points in between.
Dawn’s idea was a great one and it felt good for all of us to be able to help in a small way. It also gave us a greater appreciation for how fortunate we are to be on a bowl trip like this and to be staying in a beautiful hotel with our friends and colleagues.