Feb 7, 2023

Volunteering Is a Family Affair for Joe and Frances

Meet Joe and Frances Grbac, an extraordinary duo who have been regularly volunteering at Daily Bread for over three years.

When Joe retired in 2019, he and his wife, Frances, began searching for a place to volunteer and give back to the community. “God gave us a lot of blessings, and we have the opportunity to return the favour by helping our community,” says Joe.

Volunteering has always been a part of life for Joe and Frances. Their desire to give back to their community had its start in the church they both attended growing up and later married in. Their parents, all immigrants from Croatia, also encouraged them to look beyond their own doors to help their neighbours in need.

Volunteering at Daily Bread truly became a family affair for the Grbacs when Joe’s mother started joining them one day per week. “My mom has always been community-minded,” he said. “She’s 85 and she still goes around and rakes people’s yards to help out, so it was natural for her to join us at Daily Bread.”

Joe adds: “Giving back to the community makes you feel good. It gives you a sense of worth, you know at the end of the day you did something to help people — there is no paycheck, doing it for others is the reward.”

Initially, Joe and Frances volunteered in a variety of areas, from our production floor, to picking orders in the warehouse. Eventually Joe set roots in the commercial kitchen and can be found there twice a week, chopping vegetables for soups and casseroles that go out to member agencies or washing dishes after a full shift of preparing meals.

Frances divides her shifts between the kitchen and the production floor, sorting food. “I prefer to alternate, it’s more fun, plus I get away from Joe,” says Frances with a wry smile and a poke at Joe.

From the mischievous towel snaps at each other to their playful banter as they prepare the day’s meal, it’s clear their time spent volunteering together not only provides a sense of worth, the quality time spent together makes their bond even stronger, which, after 33 years of marriage, says a lot.

If you would like to volunteer as an individual, or with your family, please visit our site.

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