Raul DuQue: Making the Most of Time on His Hands
Raul DuQue doesn’t just believe in the idea of giving back. He lives it, as one of Second Helpings Atlanta’s most dedicated, and productive volunteers. About four years ago, Raul learned about SHA from his close friend, super-volunteer and SHA supporter Ned Cone. He took on a couple of routes per week while continuing to work full-time as an executive at Paradym, a real estate-based software company.
Fast forward to 2019, when Raul decided to take a break from his professional duties. Extra time on his hands was not wasted, as Raul joined Ned five mornings a week on the SHA refrigerated truck where they rescue thousands of pounds of food each week. “Having always had a white-collar job, I never imagined I’d enjoy driving the truck and talking to our donors and partner agencies so much,” he says.
A native of Cuba, Raul came to the U.S. in 1962. He moved to Atlanta in 1996 to take a position with a real estate magazine publisher. He and his wife Mary are the parents of two adult children.
“I’ve always believed you need to give back,” says Raul. “I’ve been very fortunate with a successful career, but it meant I was tied up in business and didn’t give as much time as I should have. Having time on my hands to do that now is very fulfilling.” Like many SHA volunteers, Raul acknowledges that it’s hard to imagine food insecurity. “We go to groceries or restaurants and don’t realize there are people struggling out there for a plate of food.” Raul has also become an active volunteer at a food pantry in South Carolina, where he owns a second home.
Raul encourages others to get involved, whether as a volunteer driver or financial supporter of Second Helpings Atlanta. “You’d be surprised at how much you can do by giving a little bit of yourself,” he adds.
As for the many hours he and Ned log in the truck together? “We solve all the world’s problems,” says Raul with a smile.