By Jennifer Meshanko for The Island Connection
Neighborhood House volunteer, Maureen Morris, brings her vast experience in food service to the lunch program. Maureen was born in Brooklyn, NY into a military family. Her father was in the army and was stationed between Germany and New Jersey during the majority of Maureen’s childhood. She has good memories living in Germany, but attending nine different military and public schools was challenging for Maureen. When her father retired from the military, Maureen was able to finish high school in New Jersey. She went on to study keyboarding for a year at the county college. Maureen worked at a hospital and at Fort Dix as a civil service secretary for three years. She met her husband working at McGuire Air Force Base. Shortly after they were married, Maureen and her husband moved to South Carolina, where her husband is from. She worked at the shipyard and a daycare, but spent the majority of her career, thirty-four years, as a food service manager with Berkeley County Schools. Maureen would later lend her food service experience to Neighborhood House, through her work as a volunteer.
Before Maureen retired in 2010, her co-worker would often talk about volunteering at the “soup kitchen” downtown. Maureen always wanted to volunteer but couldn’t find the time being a working mother of two sons and grandmother to five grandchildren.
About a year after her retirement, she contacted Vonceil Mitchell, Lunch Program Manager at the Neighborhood House. Since 2011, Maureen has been a weekly lunch program volunteer. She also helps with distributing produce and the toys during the holidays. Maureen enjoys volunteering at Neighborhood House because the clients are very nice, polite and appreciative. She also enjoys working with all the other volunteers.
Maureen believes “knowing that someone cares, regardless of status, can make an impact in someone’s life.”
Maureen recalls a day when one client was being impolite. She didn’t even have to respond, because all the other clients came together to defend her. Maureen encourages those who are fortunate enough to pay it forward, stating, “It doesn’t take much, except time, to give back to the community.”