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May 4, 2015

With Us Since the Beginning: Meet Ed Turner

Ed Turner has been acting on his passion for volunteering since a young age.

“As many people do, I grew up giving of myself. It was important,” says Ed. “Service was instilled by society, family and faith or spirituality. I was always doing something.”

Volunteer Ed Turner first volunteered with Food & Friends
more than 28 years ago.

For Ed, volunteerism became even more personal when he began delivering meals to two of his friends facing AIDS more than 28 years ago, before Food & Friends was founded.

“Food & Friends hadn’t really started yet. I was dispatched to pick up meals for my friends from the basement of the church,” says Ed. “They needed help because they didn’t have the energy or time to cook.”

Since then, Ed volunteered periodically until five years ago when he committed to delivering meals on a regular basis.

“Delivering meals takes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me. And I am able to have direct interaction with clients. I knew it was the right fit.”

Ed learned that anything can happen when you dedicate your time and heart to helping others – and he passes this sense of care to each of the clients he visits.

“For some clients, it may be the only interaction they have. If all I have to do is say ‘It’s good to see you today’ and they know I mean that, I’ve done what I need to do,” says Ed. “I’ve gotten them through another day. Maybe they’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Ed believes that anyone has the ability to volunteer and that Food & Friends has opportunities for everyone. In addition to delivering meals, Ed serves as a restaurant host for our annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser. During the event, Ed mingles with diners while raising critical funds for Food & Friends’ mission.

“If you are at all lucky, which many of us are, you can do something to help. We all have a talent and we all have time.”

Ed views volunteering as an enriching and normal part of life. And, despite his busy schedule, he claims that balancing his life with service has not been as difficult as people may think.

“You all make it easy to volunteer. All you need is 45 minutes and a smile. It’s really that simple.”

Delivering meals to his good friends facing AIDS might be what introduced Ed to Food & Friends, but it’s the feeling he gets when he volunteers that keeps him coming back. 

After I volunteer, I leave with perspective. I’m back with Food & Friends and it’s where I’m supposed to be.”

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