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A family on the go, the Bairds still find time to volunteer at Gleaners. This February, during the 23rd annual Pewabic Empty Bowls event, Kelli, Michael and their daughter Avery woke up bright and early to help raise meals to feed hungry men, women and children in southeast Michigan. “My favorite event each year is Empty Bowls. I love that all three of us are contributing. Michael is in the kitchen serving soup, and Avery and I usually work the gallery,” shared Kelli.
The Bairds have been volunteering for about 10 years, but Avery didn’t join in until 2013 when she was five and a half. Kelli shared, “Volunteering as a family is import to us. It has helped us continue to install caring and responsibility into Avery and keep in mind how blessed we are to be able to help.”
Michael and Kelli admit that incorporating volunteering into their family time has been a wonderful opportunity for them as parents. “At the Empty Bowls even this year, Avery found a bowl in the children’s section that she fell in love with – it was lop-sided, had a big dip in the side and wasn’t as smooth as the others. I watched as she found all the best things about the bowl and began to tell people about it. Within about 25 minutes, she managed to sell the bowl that most likely would have been looked over. She was so excited and I was so proud,” shared Kelli.
Volunteering has also been rewarding for Michael and Kelli within their professional careers. Both work in marketing and have made it their goal to connect the right people in an effort to affect change within their community. They encourage others to get involved, “Gleaners is such a great organization. It serves our entire community – downtown to the suburbs. They make it so easy to help in a variety of ways. If you have an hour – they have an option,” said Kelli.
Gleaners thanks the Bairds for their commitment and generosity. We’re excited to have an enthusiastic and loving family helping spread the importance of ending hunger within our community. We can’t wait to hear what exciting experiences happen at the next Empty Bowls event!
Gleaners accepts in-kind donations of goods and services.
You can support Gleaners through your will or estate plan.
A gift to the Gleaners Endowment Fund will help ensure Gleaners is able to meet the needs of hungry children, families and seniors well into the future.