Gleaners Volunteer Steps Up to the Challenge and Saves the Day

At Gleaners, we are constantly overjoyed by the dedication our volunteers commit each and every day. We love and embrace the unique skillsets each volunteer brings to the table, whether they’re the speediest produce packer around or a software design whiz kid.

When Dave VanAsselt realized he wasn’t best suited to coach, he stepped in as webmaster for Big Cat basketball, South Lyon’s travel basketball team, and used his software expertise to develop their website. He volunteers in the warehouse at Gleaners and he’s an avid volunteer through his church, using his knowledge to help in both traditional and non-traditional ways. He’s done everything from capturing moments behind the camera at the church, to directing traffic in the parking lot.

Dave is a native Michigander with a passion for software development. He’s married with two sons and graduated from University of Michigan as a mechanical engineer. He cultivated an interest in software development and learned by exploring and asking endless questions at every job he had. Though he has no formal training in software development, he quickly picked up on it and now works for Bosch as a software web developer.

Dave helped Gleaners immeasurably with the launch of one of their newest programs, My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery (MNMG). MNMG is a mobile grocery that allows SNAP benefit users to stretch their dollars even further. Less than two weeks before the initial launch of the program, a crucial component to the success of the program was delayed and Dave took incredible initiative in the research and development of a customized system to suit the needs of MNMG.

When posed with a simple question about basic system information, Dave went above and beyond what anyone could have imagined. In his research, Dave found an open source program from England and through late nights and early mornings, he overhauled the program to fit the needs of MNMG. In that two week span before the launch and in the weeks since, Dave has dedicated well over 400 hours of his time ensuring the success of the program.

“I don’t like to back down from a challenge and I knew I had to tackle this one,” he said. “I always keep in mind the families who will benefit from this work when things get particularly tricky.”

Though he wouldn’t say it about himself, Dave saved the day—and the program’s launch date. He didn’t just volunteer his time—though his long hours, day and night, dedicated to research, long discussions, and problem-solving were absolutely crucial. He helped to make a difference in reaching people in need in a timely manner and providing much needed resources for the community.

If you would like to help make a difference by volunteering at Gleaners, we’d love to have you. Click here to volunteer.