Long Huynh has been volunteering with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services for more than 15 years. However, he really showed his mettle this past year.
“When COVID-19 hit, the food bank was short of volunteers because a lot of people are over 65,” says Huynh, explaining that senior citizen volunteers were at risk of severe disease. Huynh, who does set-up, cleanup and everything in between, upped his volunteering game. “I was there every week to do the food distribution,” he says. “I never missed a single week.”
Huynh, who is a self-employed tile setter, also volunteers for The Salvation Army and Loaves & Fishes. He learned about the food bank one Thanksgiving while serving dinner at The Salvation Army alongside a woman who had just come from Run To Feed the Hungry, the food bank’s annual Thanksgiving Day fundraiser. “I volunteered and stuck with it,” he says.
Giving back to the community is important to Huynh, who immigrated to the United States from Vietnam with his father. “In my heart, whenever I volunteer, I always think about 40 years ago when I first came here. I only had a couple pairs of jeans, a couple of T-shirts. American people put food in my stomach,” he says. “Every time I think of that, I get tears in my eyes. Happy tears. American people helped me, too.”
Huynh hopes to inspire others to give back. “Just take a couple of hours of your time to help other people and your community. A couple of hours makes a lot of difference,” he says. “There are people out there in the cold with no water, no food. I will do whatever I can to help our community and our people.”
To learn more, go to sacramentofoodbank.org.