Today we are putting the spotlight on our very first Volunteer of the Month! For October, we are recognizing Carlton Kirk for his contributions to the community, specifically to the Bay Area Food Bank, one of United Way of Southwest Alabama’s (UWSWA) partner agencies.
When we spoke with Karla Gardner of the Bay Area Food Bank, she was enthusiastic in our selection of Carlton as our first Volunteer of the Month, letting us know that:
“Carlton Kirk has been volunteering with Bay Area Food Bank since 2009 and has logged more than 1,700 hours in food sorting. Without fail, Carlton serves twice a week in the morning helping to sort and inspect donated food to get ready for distribution to partner pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. He goes above and beyond, taking new volunteers under his wing and helping behind the scenes to get the job done.”
Last year, thanks to volunteers like Carlton, Bay Area Food Bank distributed nearly 17 million pounds of food to those in need along the central gulf coast.
Carlton is an outstanding community member and, like Bay Area Food Bank, we are grateful for his commitment to improving the quality of life in the community. We were able to catch up with him and learn that he grew up in Mobile, been married 42 years to his wife, Susie, and has two adult daughters. He has served our country for 20 years as a U.S. Air Force Officer, and been a partner in private business for over 14 years. In his spare time, he has been an Elder and Treasurer of his church, a board member for Family Promise of Mobile, and a volunteer for Bay Area Food Bank and the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association. When he is not serving the community, Carlton can be found fishing or golfing.
We asked Carlton more specifically about his work at the Bay Area Food Bank.
UWSWA: What made you want to begin volunteering at Bay Area Food Bank?
Carlton: “I wanted to focus my energy on a good cause. I wanted to contribute back to the community.”
UWSWA: What do you enjoy about volunteering?
- The satisfaction of helping people in need.
- Meeting other volunteers and working with people from all walks of life.
- Sharing experiences and mentoring young people.
UWSWA: Is there a moment that stands out in your mind about your volunteer experience, as interesting or noteworthy?
Carlton Kirk: “Not just one moment-but a combination of each day that I know I’m making a difference in someone’s life that day.”
UWSWA: Why would you recommend volunteering at Bay Area Food Bank to others?
Carlton Kirk: “[They have a] great staff of committed people willing to help others less fortunate.”
We want to express a huge THANK YOU to Carlton from all of us at United Way of Southwest Alabama! His service to his church, country, family, and community is extraordinary and it is our honor to make him our Volunteer of the Month for October.
If you would like information on volunteering in your community, or if you would like to nominate someone for UWSWA’s Volunteer of the Month, please contact: