Like a lot of us, Solomon Gibson III gained a few pounds during the pandemic. One early September morning, he decided to try walking off some of that extra “pandemic weight”. What he didn’t realize at the time was how that walk would impact so many children in the CHCCS district.
Schools were closed to students and staff in March 2020. One day while walking, Solomon, who lives close to McDougle schools, noticed a flurry of activity taking place around the back entrance of the cafeteria. That’s when he saw Ashley Aliano, a familiar face and manager for the Child Nutrition department. Solomon had met her earlier when he volunteered with the Food for Summer program. Ashley explained that they were loading meals in order to deliver them to children throughout the district, and they were a little short-handed. Without hesitation, Solomon jumped right in and started to help.
Many people volunteer for a day, maybe more, depending on what their schedules allow. For others, like Solomon, giving back to a community in need is part of a regular routine. He started volunteering in September and continues to this day. He has packed food, loaded buses and cars, assembled boxes, delivered lunches, and has participated in many other requests to help. His role: get food into childrens’ hands to ensure they do not go hungry. Solomon expressed that he has always felt a deep responsibility when it comes to children. He sees them as vulnerable and needing protection and will do all he can to make sure our children don't go hungry. “When you know someone needs help, and you have the ability to lend a helping hand, you should do it”.
Not wanting to sound altruistic, Solomon states, “I am only doing what anyone would do in this situation, nothing special or out of the ordinary”. But the work he, and so many other volunteers do, is in fact, special. Thinking about the needs of others and then being proactive makes the lives of those around you better. And when people choose to follow that path, they often feel better about themselves, as well.
Solomon continues to walk and will do whatever he can to make our little corner of the earth a brighter place.