Have you ever packed a Project Angel Heart meal bag? How about shuttling a carload to a satellite location, or delivering to a client’s door? Even if you’ve volunteered countless times, you might never have thought twice about that little white label on every bag, but it means a lot to us behind the scenes. That’s where our expert Peggy comes in – each week she labels all 1,200+ meal and breakfast bags. That alone would be impressive, but since each client receives custom food for their individual needs, Peggy must arrange the labeled bags in a precise order to match the frozen meals. After all, we wouldn’t want to send African Chicken and Peanut Stew to a vegetarian client with a nut allergy… right? Thanks to Peggy’s dedicated eye for detail, each meal packed and delivered fits the nutritional needs of the client on the label.
Q: How long have you been volunteering at Project Angel Heart?
I started in December of 2006, so I will be beginning my 12th year this month.
Q: How did you get involved?
I quit my job when my kids started elementary school so I could volunteer at their school, as well as Broomfield Meals on Wheels. Once my kids were out of elementary school there was no need for me to work at the middle school, so I volunteered at Butterfly Pavilion for a couple years. That’s when I found Project Angel Heart on volunteermatch.com. I was excited to go chop vegetables, or do whatever they needed. I tried just about all the shifts and decided to stick with Fridays. I stopped delivering MOW, but needed another day to fill and that’s when I started labeling meal delivery bags.
Q: You volunteer twice a week – labeling bags on Wednesdays, and dishing up meals on Fridays. What’s your favorite aspect of each role?
I love labeling bags because I’m on my own and I can go as fast or slow as I want. I can also see what goes on around me with everybody else working in the kitchen or distribution.
Friday mornings are fun as we all are like a family. That job does limit how fast or slow we go because we work as a team. I do my best to keep it going!
Q: Any interesting anecdotes, or something other volunteers and supporters might be surprised to learn about your volunteer role?
My mother, Agnes McGrath, created Hearing Dog, Inc. and if she was still alive today my volunteer duties would probably follow a different direction. I am very happy though with where I am today with Project Angel Heart! I have always felt appreciated and am glad I found a place that is as fun and interesting as Project Angel Heart.
Q: Do you have any favorite Project Angel Heart memories?
I have many memories of Project Angel Heart, between setting up for A Taste for Life and kidding around with (Volunteer Resources Manager) Mark Smith about where to arrange the furniture, to being able to ask any chef how to prepare something. Money counting after Dining Out For Life® is always on the top of my list!
My favorite memory, however, would be attending the Volunteer of the Month appreciation dinner. It just so happened to be the same year with other wonderful volunteers that I knew.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
My favorite food would be Italian – pizza, lasagna, spaghetti – American made because the Italians make it so different.
Matt Nigro is Project Angel Heart’s distribution coordinator. Previously, Matt spent three years working at Food Bank of the Rockies, where he served hundreds of partner agencies- including Project Angel Heart. Originally from Aurora, Matt is a Colorado native, but mostly grew up in Massachusetts before making his way back in 2012. He studied Communications and History at UMass Amherst and, in 2015, had the opportunity to live and work on several organic farms across Italy, where he fell in love with the sustainable lifestyles. In his free time Matt enjoys painting, reading, hiking, rooting for the Broncos and Avs, and volunteering at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO.