For Dan Millmann, volunteering has always been on his radar.
After retiring from a 37-year career as a CPA, he volunteers at several places throughout town: the Catholic Multicultural Center, Queen of Peace Parish, Madison Children’s Museum. He’s the president of Madison South Rotary and joined the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry team last fall.
“In my mind, I always knew that I would work and once I was done I would volunteer and give back,” Dan said.
Growing up in Wauwatosa, Dan’s father modeled volunteering. Dan also credits the Catholic education he received from kindergarten through high school for instilling the value of volunteering in him. He said it’s a shared mission to help our neighbors.
“Through high school, there was always something [volunteering] there,” Dan said. “My dad was active in the church and as a family, we would volunteer. It’s always been in my mind that you do things like that and I’m just wired that way.”
Volunteering is something Dan has modeled now for his kids, both graduating this year; one from high school, one from college. He acknowledges young adults and young professionals are often strained for time, as he was early in his career. Volunteering can fall down the priority list after raising a family, managing a home, or working full-time.
Yet, he’s impressed by the number of college students volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry today.
His awareness of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry began at his church on the west side of Madison and grew after a tour of the pantry several years ago. Looking for a volunteer opportunity close to home, he contacted the pantry and called to see how he could help. He didn’t have any specific idea what we wanted to do, how he could help, or all that was going on, but the staff put him right to work!
As a table loader now for the outdoor, drive-through pantry, Dan gets to do an active role and connect with new people. He values the camaraderie of a diverse volunteer team.
“I was looking for something to itch the social side of me and connect with people,” Dan said. “What I do now does both of those things. This gives me the opportunity to give back. It makes me feel productive and I get to talk with a bunch of interesting people I never would have met. We’re all people looking to give back and it’s fun to be a part of and associated with this group of people.”
Dan is passionate about helping people get food. He found that volunteering at the pantry was a natural and organized way to do that.
“Access to food and food insecurity – covering basic needs for families – were some things that were important to me personally,” Dan said “So giving people what they need so they don’t go hungry and have access to food. I wanted to do whatever I could to help with that.”
The need for food is great, Dan continued, and it’s everywhere. Just about every town across the county has a small pantry of its own, he’s learned. The work of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and all of the pantries in the area is so important; they’re filling a huge need.
“I don’t know what we would do without pantries like this,” Dan said. “I can’t imagine a country like ours having people who didn’t want to take care of their community.”
Join the volunteer team! Click here or contact Zoe Lavender, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 442-7200 x71 to help.
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