Christal Washington is proof that volunteering can make not only a difference in other people's lives but also in your own life.
What started as a 40-hour volunteer opportunity turned into something greater.
"I came in 2015 as a volunteer. And I liked it so much that I got hired on and part-time in 2017. And then I became a manager in 2019."
Out of all of the organizations where she could volunteer, it was the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma that drew Christal in.
"When I finally found out actually what the food bank did, it inspired me to, you know, come in and help out."
And that she did.
"She's all about the work of the food bank," says Greg Radskin. "And it's just really inspiring to see her day in and day out, keep that positive attitude work hard every day and just keep at it."
It's not the paycheck that keeps Christal coming back, but the difference she's making right here in our community.
"There's always someone out there that needs help," Christal says. "And we are here to help people who need help."
When the pandemic began, organizations across Green Country shut their doors or took a brief pause. That wasn't in the cards for the Food Bank or for Christal. People all across eastern Oklahoma relied on her and her team to feed their families.
"I looked at it as if I don't come in, somebody is not gonna get fed. So that's what woke me up every morning to come to work, and it still does, that's what makes me come to work," says Christal.
For Christal, helping others isn't just a part of her job, it's a part of who she is.
"It's amazing -- to have that feeling that you know, that you're helping other people out. That's what I like about it. That's what I get out of it."
Whenever families in eastern Oklahoma need food or the people at the warehouse need a laugh, a smile, or a hug - Christal shows up.
"I love coming in and love... I just love the people here. And then I love knowing what I was doing. Helping people."
Christal Washington is what makes the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, positively Oklahoma.