Volunteer Spotlight: Naomi Woodard Says Time is a Gift

Despite her full-time job, Naomi finds time nearly every week to give back at the North Texas Food Bank.

Naomi Woodard says you never know how much free time you have until you commit to giving it away.

With a full-time job in finance at AT&T plus commitments at her church, Naomi knows what it’s like to feel busy. But, she says, she considers her time a gift and decided that if she wanted to volunteer regularly at the North Texas Food Bank, she would figure out a way to make it work.

“It’s just a way of me giving back – giving my time,” she says. “I’m not saying that I have much to give, but I do have time that I can share, and I like to help.”

For more than six years, Naomi has dedicated part of her Saturdays to the NTFB. She began working in the warehouse at the Food Bank’s former location on Cockrell Hill in Dallas and since 2018 has been volunteering at the Perot Family Campus in Plano. She’s completed an array of jobs but especially enjoys serving as the food donation door clerk where she welcomes donors, takes in their items and provides them with a receipt. She also regularly helps out at special events, like The State Fair of Texas can drive, and she’s volunteered at NTFB partner food pantries.

A Midland native who now lives in Denton, Naomi says she first volunteered at the NTFB just to see what it was like, but that she immediately felt at home and hasn’t looked back since that first shift.

“It’s a rewarding experience because I know I’ve helped families receive food,” she says.

AT&T recognizes Naomi’s commitment by offering a monetary donation to the Food Bank (or another nonprofit of her choice) once she reaches 100 volunteer hours annually.

At her church, where Naomi volunteers with the youth usher program, she says she tries to instill the importance of giving in the next generation. She’ll also sometimes post photos on social media after volunteering at NTFB and says she’s found sharing her experience can encourage others to get involved, whether by donating time or money. “That’s an encouragement,” she says.

For those thinking about getting involved at the Food Bank or somewhere else, Naomi says to give it a try.

“I did not grow up volunteering, but I wanted to do it as an adult,” she says. “You never know how much free time you really have until you commit to a volunteer shift. It’s so rewarding.”

Kathleen Petty is communications manager for the North Texas Food Bank.