Valley volunteers support community projects

Barbara Hootman

Faith Butterfield moved to Black Mountain four years ago and met Joe Galone through volunteer work. They have established a strong friendship.

Butterfield, 64, has energy and time to spare that she shares by helping others.

“I have performed some type of volunteer work most of my life,” she said. “Volunteering is engrained in my life now. Joe and I enjoy volunteering together for Bounty & Soul (a food outreach program), but Joe volunteers a lot more hours than I do.”

Butterfield has been volunteering with Bounty & Soul for four years. At its market at St. James Episcopal Church on Tuesdays, she helps sort produce, arranging it in baskets and managing tables as people go through the line to select what they want.

Bounty and Soul is a grassroots, volunteer-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to creating health and wellness awareness among residents of eastern Buncombe County.

“Sometimes I help with packaging dry goods at the Green House, which is the headquarters of Bounty & Soul,” Butterfield said. “I am also an active ‘gleaner.’ This involves visiting local farms and picking produce in season for Bounty & Soul’s clients. Many farms, such as New Sprout Organic in Black Mountain, and Ten Mile Farm in Old Fort, grow produce for donation. Bounty & Soul is in partnership with the Saint Andrews Gleaning Society of America.”

Each week, Butterfield and Galone volunteer about 20-25 hours in some form of volunteerism. They do it to help others and also for the personal rewards they receive. Butterfield said the personal satisfaction she gets in volunteering with Bounty & Soul and helping with the organization’s mission is great.

Galone, 70, was involved in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion in Lake Placid, New York. He played taps at military funerals and memorial celebrations. He is also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders.

“I have volunteered all my life, like Faith has,” he said. “When I came down here from Lake Placid, I found Bounty & Soul and have been doing what I can to help them ever since. I shop for produce at MANNA FoodBank weekly for Bounty & Soul. I unload trucks, and I keep the refrigerated food truck mechanically sound. Whatever (Bounty & Soul director) Ali Casparian needs that I can do, I am always willing to help.

“I am not as active in the VFW locally because I am a lot older than most of the men who participate,” Galone said. “I do make sure some of the housebound veterans get the food they need.”

Butterfield also volunteers at the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden in Black Mountain.

“Under the direction of (garden director) Diana McCall and (volunteer) Craig Siska, 20 biodynamic beds have been created and planted with crops specifically for donation to Bounty & Soul,” Butterfield said. “I help with weeding, composting and planting. I love being involved to help those in need. It gives me both physical exercise and a sense of purpose. It’s amazing to live in a community that is so active and interconnected in helping others.”

“I also volunteer at the LEAF festival, and I am docent at the Swannanoa Valley Museum. I love Black Mountain and want to do all I can for the town. Last fall I helped plant the wildflower gardens for pollinators at the Black Mountain Disc Golf Course, which is adjacent to the community garden.”

Galone and Butterfield agreed that volunteering helps them give back for all the blessings they have received and helps them pay forward all the blessings they will receive in the future.

“Also, you meet a lot of really great people when you volunteer,” Galone said.

“It’s amazing to live in a community that is so active and interconnected in helping others.”

Faith Butterfield

Local volunteer