For Alex Simone, manager of the Moveable Feast VolunTeam through Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC), part of being in a community is helping one another. Quite simply, he says, it takes a village.
Alex was born and raised in the Baltimore area, attending Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School and graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park. Afterwards, he moved to Israel for a few years where he served in the Israel Defense Force. A year or so after his service, Alex moved back to Baltimore where he took a sales role for a food distributor.
“I remember growing up, and even today,” recalls Alex, “My dad was a big influence on me. He was always involved in different service groups. He used to take me to CHAI cleanup days where we would help winterize people’s homes or help with spring cleaning.”
Alex saw how his father combined his professional experience, he was in real estate, with his personal passion, while helping people in a real way.
“He just drilled home how much we have to give back to the community,” says Alex.
So, when Alex was asked by a friend to help prepare meals through Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) for local Baltimore residents, he jumped at the opportunity.
“My friend was managing this group and asked if I would come out on a Sunday and volunteer some of my time.”
Two years later, Alex found himself managing the group himself and continues to do so to this day, despite a career change – Alex is now a commercial real estate broker with Gold and Company.
“It’s been very rewarding,” says Alex, “being a part of a group that’s helping people that really need it.”
Every other month, Alex and the VolunTeam that formed through JVC, volunteer at Moveable Feast. In the span of a few hours, they will wash, prep and package anywhere from 500 to 900 meals that will be delivered to clients in the Baltimore area. Those clients are either homebound or don’t have the means to acquire nutritious meals on their own.
“I think for me, I see it as something that just needs to be done,” says Alex. “I think the people that come to our team enjoy knowing that every sandwich they make, every meal they pack, is going to feed somebody.”
This connection to Moveable Feast, explains Alex, was made possible because of the JVC’s VolunTeam Initiative and their partnership with Repair the World: Baltimore, which works towards matching young adults to volunteer opportunities that suit their interests and passions. The size of the group varies from team to team, but what’s important is that the group is matched with the right volunteer opportunity.
“I think you need to find something that stands out to you,” explains Alex. “You might enjoy it the one day, but if you don’t connect with something, you may not go back. That’s what is great about the team at JVC – they’re good at asking the right questions and matching you up.” Alex and the rest of the VolunTeams are always looking for volunteers.
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