First established in 1974 through presidential proclamation by Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration “to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community. Their stories can serve to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change.”
In honor of the 2018 National Volunteer Week, Feeding Matters would like to recognize several of our dedicated and committed volunteers.
Garrett Barnes has been on the Family Advisory Council since 2016 and attended our Consortium meeting in 2017. One of our favorite videos is of Garrett and his daughter Lucy’s journey.
How did you first get involved with Feeding Matters?
In desperation, with a kiddo vomiting several times a day, miserable meals, gagging when hearing us prep meals, we had nowhere to turn. I googled and googled and found Feeding Matters. From there, they helped me immediately and after that I asked how I can assist others and then became a volunteer.
What is your most prized memory of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
At a luncheon, I got to tell my story and for a moment my tubie Lucy joined me on stage. Being asked to share at this event meant more to me than I feel anyone knows. I will advocate for pediatric feeding awareness at every opportunity and I always love the chance.
What is your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
The thought of being on the receiving end of a phone call or meeting from someone like me when I was desperate makes me very happy. If I can lighten the burden by being a support for a family who just learned their little one needs a tube or is struggling, I would drop everything to do it.
What does being involved with Feeding Matters mean to you?
I am a passionate advocate for this organization. Shannon and Chris are role models to me. The fact that they allow me to be a part of their vision of increasing awareness to this issue is both humbling and an honor.
What is your biggest hope for families navigating pediatric feeding disorder?
That they will be able to navigate the world of insurance and payments because with everything else on their plate, paying for services should not be the main subject of concern. The goal of assisting the kiddo should be their focus.
To join Feeding Matters’ fight to create a world in which children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive, visit feedingmatters.org/volunteer.