Something is always happening at SHIM

Patti Cook, Volunteer Extraordinaire

Patti CookMore than 200 volunteers power SHIM programs.

One of these exemplary volunteers is Patti Cook. Each year, Patti donates between 300-600 hours to SHIM. Her dedication to helping her neighbors is inspiring, and her friendly approachable demeanor welcomes both those seeking help and those providing aid.

Patti learned about SHIM through her church bulletin and began volunteering as a front desk receptionist and data entry volunteer ten years ago. Patti helps SHIM track the thousands of volunteer hours logged by SHIM’s 200+ dedicated volunteers. In 2021, over 250 volunteers donated 18,400 hours! While many South Hills residents recognize the need for pantry volunteers, Patti understands that SHIM operates on a tight budget with minimal staff members and needs help in the office. SHIM relies on volunteers like Patti to fill the vital role of receptionist. For many years as receptionist, she answered the phones and accepted donations with warmth and patience, encouraging both clients and donors to connect more deeply with SHIM. By helping clients find the resources they’re seeking, Patti enabled neighbors to take their first step towards self-sufficiency. While some neighbors worry about the stigma of needing to ask for help, Patti’s generous nature helped neighbors feel comfortable and respected. This crucial position can be difficult to fill, as it requires climbing stairs multiple times per shift, and SHIM is grateful for Patti’s youthful energy.

Patti also volunteers in SHIM’s food pantries sorting items, readying them for distribution to neighbors in need. Sorting and stocking shelves is time-consuming but necessary to ensure that volunteers are able to equally distribute items to families. With the cost of food soaring and a sustained increase in pantry participation during the past few years, Patti provides vital assistance.

Patti knows that neighbors struggle for various reasons, and that SHIM is here to help them avoid crises and navigate resources. Her dedication to building a community where everyone can thrive is evident in her 10-year commitment as a volunteer at SHIM. We are beyond thankful for Patti’s service!

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