Q: Why is hunger a cause you invest time in fighting?
A: The first time I heard the hunger statistics, namely the number of American children living with some form of food insecurity, I was stunned and saddened. I couldn't believe that so many millions of kids in our country wake up every morning unsure if they will be able to eat that day. Understanding how hunger undermines every part of a child’s life left me no choice but to get involved with domestic hunger relief.
Q: How has being a father changed you?
A: Being a father means understanding the power of the love of our children, and how fundamentally precious and important it is to care for those we love and who depend on us. The idea that another father in our country, who loves his children like I love mine, has to look into their faces and say 'I’m sorry, I’m working as hard as I can, but there’s no food for us to eat today,' absolutely breaks my heart. I am driven to support efforts and organizations that give that father a chance to feed his kids.
Q: What are some core values you want to instill in your children?
A: The most important values that I want to instill in my kids are: Being kind, being honest, being fair, being grateful and being able to laugh at ourselves.
Q: What is your favorite way to give back?
A: My favorite way to give back is to give my time and presence. Donating is valuable and crucial, but being hands on and showing up and participating or advocating for the causes I believe in is always what I hope to be able to do.
Q: What was memorable about your last volunteer experience?
A: Through meeting people directly, it becomes possible to feel a connection to their experience. My last time meeting families that benefit from the work that Feeding America does was so inspiring because I was overwhelmed with their bravery in the face of their challenges and the measure of their gratitude for the relief they have been offered by Feeding America and their partner organizations.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you have learned about hunger?
A: How there are solutions to help turn the tide on hunger in our country if only we have the social and political will and support to make it happen. There is surplus food, there are hungry people, we need to be the force that brings these two hopeful partners together.
Q: What advice would you give people considering volunteering?
A: I can’t imagine a more worthwhile cause than helping to feed our hungry children and their families. It is unacceptable in this great country that so many of our children go hungry every day. This affects every part of our country, even national security and the very future of America. Sharing in the effort to bring relief to our hungry neighbors has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Q: Your kids are a little young to volunteer (3, 5 and 9), how do you help them understand that there are lots of families that don’t get enough to eat?
A: It’s a constant conversation in our home. The main thing is hoping to instill a sense of gratitude and of taking nothing for granted. The reality that we are lucky today but relatively little separates us from families that struggle with hunger is something that we want them to always appreciate.
Q: Do you have plans to volunteer as a family in the future?
A: Absolutely yes! We’ve had plans to volunteer with our 9 year old that have not worked out for timing reasons, but that will definitely be part of our lives as a family.