Why I volunteer: Teamwork is dreamwork

Forest Walters

Editor’s note: As part of Xpress’ Spring Nonprofit Issue, we asked residents to send in accounts of their volunteer work with local nonprofits. See all 12 responses in this week’s print edition. 

Forest Walters is a volunteer at 12 Baskets Café, a no-cost eatery that distributes over 10,000 pounds of food each month.

Xpress: When and why did you begin volunteering for 12 Baskets Café? 

I’ve volunteered for 12 Baskets for about three months, and I picked them particularly because of their involvement with community and their goals to evolve to further their relations with people and families in need. They are a good group of folks inside and out.

What do you do at the nonprofit and what keeps you returning to the volunteer position? 

I do about everything that needs doing. They call it being a “floater.” One day I might serve tables and another day I might do dishes — sometimes both in the same day. Today I was in the rain managing the communication between the inside, where volunteers fill food boxes, and the outside, where people give and take food orders for the box builders inside.

What do you wish you’d known prior to starting? 

I wish I would have known about the versatility of the overall things they do for the community. They seem to be at an advantage of sorts because of their location and the teamwork they maintain. Everyone loves 12 Baskets. They try to be there for their people — volunteers along with anyone who walks through the doors.

What do you tell folks who are interested in volunteering but have yet to commit? 

If you want to come in and volunteer for an hour and don’t have time for much more — you are welcome! If you want to join the team and do more — you’re equally welcome. I’ve only seen people being welcome here no matter who they are and I love that!


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