Why I Volunteer – Bob Lundgren

Below is a brief interview with Bob Lundgren, a longtime Mano a Mano supporter, about why he volunteers with Mano a Mano. Over the next few months we are going to be sharing a number of ‘Why I Volunteer’ stories, to highlight some of the wonderful people that truly make our organization go. Thanks Bob!

Mano a Mano volunteer Bob Lundgren, at the Mano a Mano warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota

Mano a Mano volunteer Bob Lundgren, at the Mano a Mano warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota

How did you get started at Mano a Mano?

My wife, Margi, had worked with Joan Velazquez at Ramsey County. One day Margi got an email from Joan saying that she and Segundo (Mano a Mano’s founders) needed volunteers to help load up a semi trailer with donated medical equipment and supplies. I didn’t know anything about the organization but was willing to help. We went over there and my jaw just dropped. The backyard and half the house was full medical supplies and equipment. A group of people was already there. We all pitched in. It felt good and it was fun. I started looking forward to calls for volunteers.

What do you do for Mano a Mano now?

Mostly I do warehouse work. I sort supplies and equipment and load them on shipping pallets. When shipping containers are being sent to Bolivia I help load the containers which is usually done over a crazy, fun three days. It’s good, physical work.

Why do you keep volunteering?

I keep doing it because Mano a Mano is creating sustainable long term development solutions that address rural poverty in Bolivia. It’s not a short-term build-something-and-leave program. It’s a dynamic, constantly evolving organization.

I keep doing it because I think I’m helping out communities that don’t have a lot of resources but have a commitment to bettering their situation.

I keep doing it because the people I work with are without exception delightful.

I also keep doing it because for me working in the warehouse is like playtime. Who wouldn’t enjoy wrestling towering pallets of boxes around with pallet jacks and a fork lift?