It All Starts With Relationship

Others, Relationships

Contributed by: Fraser Valley Gleaners

How do you get a young individual excited about something you are passionate about? You can tell them about it, or you can show them.  Our volunteers have often been able to share their vision about Fraser Valley Gleaners in a “show them” kind of way. Some of our younger generation volunteers come from private and public schools, youth service groups, young people from various churches, and individual students doing their compulsory serve hours for graduation. Youth aged 12 and up have been coming on a weekly basis to the plant and working side by side with our faithful seniors. “My whole class looks forward to this positive experience,” says a teacher from an Abbotsford, B.C., Middle School.  

Serving empowers youth to become caring, confident & contributing members of their community through experience-based learning. It is very gratifying to watch our seniors and youth interact as they peel onions or core peppers for the dehydrated vegetable soup mix. It is about relationships. When we are serving others, we are serving God.  

Fraser Valley Gleaners in Abbotsford, B.C. has more than 60 volunteers a day “drop in” to clean and trim vegetables and apples. As seniors and youth work together across a table for the morning shift, there is much chatter and laughter. Relationships are being formed within small groups at various work stations.  Sharing a break over a cup of iced tea or coffee is also an enjoyable part of the morning session. When we work all together in a morning shift we can accomplish processing and dehydrating over 8,000 lbs of produce a day. This turns into a dehydrated vegetable mix and dried fruit snacks using surplus produce that is not marketable in the North American retail market due to colour, size or shape. This product is then made into a nutritious soup mix that is used to feed the hungry in over 40 developing countries partnering with 25 different Christian Organizations working with Humanitarian Aid overseas.  

 Hebrews 10:24 • “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.”

Teamwork and encouragement go hand in hand.  It all starts with relationship.

Written by: Elaine Goosen, part of the staff team at Fraser Valley Gleaners