Volunteer Spotlight on Gigi Chu and Larry Vollman –
Loaves & Fishes’ MVPs
In sports, a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is an honor
bestowed on the best-performing, most reliable player (or players).
At Loaves & Fishes Gigi Chu and Larry Vollman are the
Larry started volunteering in the summer of 2011, right after
the sales executive retired from Coastal Circuits in Redwood
City. He had been a donor since the launch of Loaves & Fishes
in the early 80s. He only donates to nonprofits where the
majority of its budget goes directly to the client services. L&F
fit the model. Even today 80% of every $1 goes directly to the
program. Once retired, it was a natural progression for Larry
to become a volunteer.
Gigi was a software engineer for 30 years. She worked at HP,
multiple startups and Citrix before retiring. In 2012 Gigi
discovered Loaves & Fishes on a volunteering website and has
been a loyal supporter ever since.
It’s easy to define what raises Gigi and Larry to MVP status. The pair is available whenever needed. No matter the task. This includes trying out new meal service sites, helping at fundraisers, and showing up at
6 a.m. for our grueling day at Super Bowl 50 manning the concession booths.
Larry volunteers regularly on Mondays at the Goodwill meal service, plus 4 to 5 days a week in our organic garden and, as needed, for outreach and special functions. Larry has never said no and is the go to volunteer.
Gigi volunteers regularly on Thursdays in the garden and then just has enough time to clean up and change to go to the Goodwill meal service. Gigi is also a regular at our monthly grocery bag program.
Both Larry and Gigi take pride in bringing the beautiful produce they grow from seed to fresh cooked meals, creating homemade soups and sides for the Goodwill guests.
Fun Fact: Turns out Larry and the Loaves & Fishes Board Chair, Dan Barsanti both went to St. Francis High School in Mountain View and graduated in the class of ‘67.
At Loaves & Fishes volunteering enables one to see a different side of life. When Gigi and Larry were asked who comes to top of mind, they replied, “There are so many,” including:
• Wendell, a Vietnam vet who says, “He left a lot of his body in Vietnam”
• Fred, a student at San Jose State studying calculus and trigonometry. He was living in his car, until it and all his possessions were stolen.
• Tri, has a law degree from Kent College in England and author of two poetry books. Her life changed tragically after she was hit by a car.