Valentine to a Special SHA Volunteer

At Second Helpings Atlanta, we love our more than 450 volunteers, most who serve as drivers, picking up food and delivering it to SHA’s Partner Agencies throughout Atlanta.

But one special volunteer stayed in one spot and helped us in a unique and meaningful way earlier this year.

For three weeks in January, Telissa Reynolds, currently a junior at The Westminster Schools, worked closely with Alex Duncan, SHA Program Coordinator, to help SHA streamline and update its records in Salesforce, the platform SHA uses to manage its pick-up and delivery schedules.

“I made a spreadsheet that had the contact information of the Food Donors and Partner Agencies and I reached out to them (via email and over the phone) so that they could provide the most current information. Then, I made a schedule that outlines what day/time SHA visits each Food Donor to pick up donations,” she explains. “The biggest challenge was probably getting used to Salesforce – but I kind of felt like a pro at it afterwards!”

Telissa heard about SHA through her brother Gevin. She talked to the volunteer coordinator at Westminster and decided that during JanTerm 2019 she would try and get an internship with SHA. “I wanted to make more of an impact with SHA while also getting Westminster involved. And that’s just what I did! I was able to help SHA by organizing and updating their contact records and I was able to get in contact with the director of food services at Westminster and propose the idea of Westminster becoming a food donor for SHA.”

Telissa, who plans to study biology and go to medical school, is inspired by her mother to give back. “My mom is my role model. After my father died six years ago my Mom assumed the role of both Mom and Dad and has made it look easy even though I know it must be so hard. My mom founded an educational nonprofit called KITES (Kids Interested in Technology, Engineering, and Science) where she introduces hands on science to students in inner city schools. Because of her, I grew up volunteering whether it was making sandwiches for the homeless or teaching elementary schoolers science. Because of her, I really understand the power of giving back to those in need. Her heart is so big and she has made me the person I am today.”

In addition to her demanding class schedule, Telissa runs track in the spring. She is also an admissions ambassador at Westminster, on the yearbook committee, on the Student Alumni Council, and she is a part of GERLS (a mentoring program between 11th grade girls and 7th grade girls).

Telissa – thank you so much for taking on a pretty non-glamorous task and mastering it in just a few days. You have no idea how much you have helped us. Having up to date contact information for our Food Donors helps streamline our operations and enables us to quickly connect with key people at each of our Food Donors’ locations. Your positive outlook and your attitude are an inspiration to us all.