It’s 10 p.m. on Friday night, and the Pinheiro family—Ana, age 40, Ernesto, 41, and their two children, ages 9 and 11—are going to bed. They have to get up early tomorrow. The entire family is going out to volunteer at the local food bank. The bank gives out free food and other necessary items to the homeless, senior citizens, and low-income families. The Pinheiros, who immigrated to the U.S. from Brazil eight years ago, volunteer there two Saturdays a month.
On a typical Saturday, the Pinheiros arrive at the food bank by 8:30 a.m. As soon as they arrive, they put on aprons and get their instructions from the volunteer coordinator. They unpack boxes of donated food, greet customers, and pack bags of food for them. They stay at the food bank until the next group of volunteers arrives at 12:30.
Anna Pinheiro says she is grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at the food bank. She says, “Volunteering has brought our family closer together. It teaches us to feel more compassionate toward people who are not as lucky as