MEET MARTHA: VOLUNTEERING TO BUILD A HUNGER-FREE FUTURE – JANUARY 27
Martha learned the joy of service early in life. It’s a lesson the longtime educator has shared with her three children and students. But last year, she discovered a new outlet: serving as a Second Harvest core volunteer and member of the Kay Porta Legacy Society.
“After volunteering one time, I knew it was the place for me,” Martha told us. “I really enjoyed the people that I met, and the mission of feeding people feels like a continuation of the work I did as a principal — trying to make a difference and give back.”
If you visit a Second Harvest Mobile Market, you’ll likely see Martha warmly greeting recipients with smiles. “I was fortunate to work on a Mobile Market, and that work has captured my heart and passion. The team is outstanding, the volunteers are amazing and most importantly, it is heartwarming to see the gratitude as people pick up their food. I will serve on a Mobile Market whenever I get the chance!”
“People should not be hungry.”
A Spokane native and graduate of Washington State University, Martha left her career in sales management just shy of her 50th birthday to become a teacher, then principal at a K-8 school in California. “Truly the best work of my life! It was a Title I school with 95% of our students on free/reduced lunch, so I saw hunger every day in my students, families and my entire school community.”
The experience made an impact. “If kids are hungry, it is difficult for them to effectively function in the classroom and makes it almost impossible for them to learn,” explained Martha. “From this point on, I determined that I would always try to be an advocate for children and a voice for those less fortunate.”
She returned to Spokane after retiring and was motivated by her brother to volunteer at Second Harvest. She soon began donating more than time.
“My parents instilled a legacy in us of giving back, so my first donation was an easy decision. As I have spent more time working and talking to Second Harvest, my financial commitment has increased, and I will continue to do whatever I can for two reasons. First of all, I strongly believe that people should not be hungry and secondly, I’ve witnessed how Second Harvest manages its resources. They are faithful stewards of every donation.”
Paying it forward
The Kay Porta Legacy Society is named in honor of Second Harvest’s founder, Kay Porta. Supporters wishing to help secure a hunger-free future are invited to include Second Harvest in their will, estate plan or trust. Gifts of all sizes are welcomed — and make a difference.
Martha’s decision to make a planned gift was rooted in family values.
“I was inspired to join the Kay Porta Legacy Society following a conversation I had with my brother regarding our parents and the qualities they instilled in us,” she said. “We feel very blessed with the life we were given, and my dad always reminded us to remember those less fortunate whenever he gave us money. It is important to me to ‘pay it forward’ and instill that same philosophy in my children.”
Volunteers and donors are integral members of the Second Harvest team, making it possible to serve people facing hunger. For Martha, the mission is personal.
“I often talk to my friends, family and neighbors about Second Harvest and my commitment both now and in the future,” she explained. “I try to keep my focus on the need in our community and the wonderful work that is being done each and every day. I believe that we are doing God’s work with every dollar we donate and every minute that we volunteer — definitely the noblest of causes.”