Roger Lemire of Southington has been volunteering at Bread for Life for four years. He and his wife both spend their time volunteering and encourage other couples to do the same. Bread for Life is proud to recognize Roger as the “Volunteer of the Month” for July.
Why did you choose Bread for Life?
I’ve lived in Southington for 30 years and Bread for Life is local for me. We deliver to a lot of shut-ins and we see a lot of people that we normally wouldn’t see in our daily lives. I get to see what their situations are and where they live and what we can do to help them.
Have you had an experience that stood out to you?
There was a man who was living in a tent in the woods for three years and he used to come into Bread for Life for food. I used to walk and ride the trail and I would see him in those woods and I thought, ‘wow this man has spent three winters outside in a tent no matter what the weather was, he was out there.’ So I got involved with Southington Community Services and we found him an apartment in Meriden. Now he’s living indoors. The apartment finding wasn’t through Bread for Life but I came to know him from Bread for Life. We get to see a lot of the people that come in from day to day and learn what their situations are and from there we help them however we can.
How has volunteering impacted your life?
I think it’s impacted me greatly. I worked until I was 66 at a job where I would work at least eight hours a day. This is showing me the other side of life, it makes me look deeper and think a little more about the people that I might see on the streets. What is their situation? Why are they where they are and maybe there is something we can do to help them. I think I’m more conscious of those in need. It’s hard when you’re just living your daily life and not thinking about anything other than supporting your family. It just gives you another dimension. My wife is volunteering on the summer program where we go to some of the low-income housing areas and provide lunches for the children since they aren’t in school this time of year and may not be getting the food they need and I think volunteering together enhances our relationship because we both have the same goals in mind in helping our fellow neighbors.
What would you tell those who are those considering volunteering?
Get involved in your community, find something that you might like to do and do it. There are so many people that need help and there are so many ways to do it. You can make a difference in people’s lives.
Click here to visit the Volunteer of the Month page.