Senior Specialist, Business Operations Margaret Dane of the Gainesville office volunteers with First Baptist Church of Woodbridge (FBCW) in Woodbridge, Virginia, where she has been a member for more than 30 years. Her volunteering at FBCW varies throughout the years from teaching in the Youth Sunday School department to going on a mission trip to Anchorage, Alaska for a week to work with children in underprivileged neighborhoods. Margaret’s primary focus for volunteering comes through the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) organization group that meets at FBCW. This group of women meets once a month to learn about missionaries serving around the world and to pray for the needs and safety of the missionaries.
The WMU group also organizes and participates in many local mission projects that include:
- Shopping for and participating in the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box packing event to send shoe boxes around the world filled with items that children need
- Organizing the Potomac Place Senior Center event to visit with seniors and assist them with making crafts to decorate their rooms
- Making pillow cases for children in orphanages in Zambia and India
- Making burp cloths and bibs for the Care Net organization to give to new mothers in the local area
- Making Blessing Treat Bags to go into 20 Thanksgiving meal donation boxes that are distributed to needy families in the area for Thanksgiving
- Holding a bake sale to raise money for a missionary in Nepal to buy bibles in the country’s native language
In addition, Margaret enjoys preparing and serving meals at the Hilda Barg Homeless Prevision Shelter several times each year. This shelter houses individuals and families while they assist with finding a more permanent housing situation. The shelter relies on local church and community organizations to provide hot food for the evening meals each night of the week. The volunteers also provide bag lunches for the next day that all the residents take with them to school or work. About 30 people reside at the shelter at any given time. For more information on the shelter, visit http://www.nvfs.org/hildabarg.
This past year brought a new volunteer opportunity to light for Margaret participation in the Feed My Starving Children event. She helped raise funds and also assembled Manna Meal packages at the Dulles Expo Center for the Feed My Starving Children organization. The organization’s goal was to pack five million Manna Meal packages during the weekend. Thankfully, because of hundreds of local volunteers, including Margaret and her family, the goal was exceeded. The meals packed during that weekend will feed 14,000 children every day for an entire year! These Manna Meal packages provide essential vitamins and food for hungry children across the world. To find out more information about participating or organizing one of these events in your area, view the website at https://www.fmsc.org/.
Margaret and her family have made volunteering a way of life in their home. The only qualification required is the simple desire to help someone in need. A little bit of a person’s time can make a big difference and impact to so many others in the local community and around the world.