This post is brought to you by our Volunteer Coordinator, Krystin Gehrich

Rhoda is one of our newest volunteers who graces us with her presence once a week when she comes to stock our shelves full of bread and other bakery items. She is always willing to help out doing whatever needs done in the store when her section looks perfect before her shift is over. Thank you Rhoda!

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KG: Rhoda! You are in school at UM. What are you studying?

RK: Pre-pharmacy right now. I’m applying to pharmacy school next year.

KG: Where are you applying to?

RK: I applied here!

KG: How much time to do you spend studying for that?

RK: Most of the time, during my whole entire day.

KG: How do you find the time to volunteer with all that other stuff going on?

RK: It’s kind of like a break from my studying. I kind of love it.

KG: When did you arrive to Missoula?

RK: I came here in 2010, September.

KG: What’s your favorite part about Missoula in the winter?

RK: I like the snow. I learned how to snowboard.

KG: Where’s your favorite place to go snowboarding?

RK: I’ve been to different places…Snowbowl, Discovery I think is my favorite place. It’s easier for a learning person.

KG: Do you celebrate the holiday season? If so, how?

RK: Yep. I usually spend time with my family. I try to go back, to Tacoma, WA, or sometimes I stay.

KG: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

RK: I don’t have a favorite. I love Christmas, I love Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving just comes in handy, because I get a break from the stress of the school year. I love Christmas, I just love the gifts.

KG: What’s the most creative gift you’ve ever given someone?

RK: (laughs) I just….do me. If I want you to have something, then I’ll just buy it.

KG: What’s the coolest or best gift you’ve ever received?

RK: I’d say the best was my snowboard. It was a big surprise.

KG: If you could turn the snowflakes into anything else, what would you turn them into?

RK: Food, it would feed everyone, and make everyone happy. Especially for those people who can’t afford to put food on their tables. That would be nice.

KG: What’s your favorite way to relax?

RK: Taking long drives.

KG: Where do you drive to?

RK: Hot springs. I love the hot springs.

KG: Who was the first Food Bank volunteer you met when you first started?

RK: Kathy, she stocks the canned food. She was really nice.

KG: If you could give any piece of advice to a brand new volunteer, what would it be?

RK: Be themselves. Helping out is a really nice thing to give back, to anybody. And it doesn’t have to be the Food Bank. You might find somebody, on the street, try to help any way you can. It doesn’t end at the Food Bank.

KG: When you leave the Food Bank after your shift, what are you thinking and feeling?

RK: I always feel good, like I’ve done something good. I’m always proud of myself, but sometimes I just don’t want to talk about it.

KG: You want to keep it to yourself.

RK: Yes, because sometimes you find people in different situations. Sometimes it just opens your heart more.

KG: To be more private with it?

RK: Yes. In case someone needs to come use the Food Bank, if they know I am working there, they might say, oh my gosh, I can’t go. But this way, they can come, without fear of feeling judged.

KG: What would you say to someone who is afraid they’ll be judged if they come here for help?

RK: I would tell them that everything is kept confidential, that nobody is actually judged, and if you walk in, you will be welcomed with open arms. The volunteers, they’ll never judge you.

KG: If you could paint our new space any color, which color would you choose and why?

RK: A neutral color, to kind of blend into the community.

Favorites:

Food: I love cookies. It’s kind of my weakness.

Movie: I love all movies. Something that I can relate to. But I don’t have a favorite.

Book: The Bible.

Band: Linkin Park.

Animal: Oh my gosh! A cow, maybe. It provides a lot — food, milk.

Cartoon: I have too many! I enjoy cartoons. Recess. But it’s kind of violent! If you YouTube it, you can see it. It’s hilarious.

KG: Did you watch the movie “The Good Dinosaur?”

RK: Yes, I have seen that.

KG: Did you like it?

RK: Yeah, I did. I thought it was so interesting. I love that you can tell where some of the palces are.

Encouraging thing to say to people: Go for your goals. Wherever you want to be, just go for it.

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