Meet Saira: Born in Zambia, Saira grew up in Nigeria and India before moving to the Bay Area by way of North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. A senior procurement manager, Saira has worked in the software and aviation industries, most recently at Virgin Airlines and American Airlines. She has an MBA from North Carolina State University, specializing in Supply Chain Management and Finance. She, her husband and cat live in Mountain View. When she’s not volunteering at CSA and other organizations, Saira enjoys reading, walking and knitting, the latter which she’s put to good use knitting lap blankets for senior clients.

“Saira is so hard-working and willing to do anything that is asked of her in the pantry,” says Volunteer Coordinator LaDrea Clark. “She really wants to help people. On her birthday, she asked where she could volunteer and give back. Helping people is in her heart.”

How did you come to volunteer at CSA?

When I left my job last April, I started looking for volunteer opportunities. I found CSA’s website, met with LaDrea Clark and Christine Flego, volunteered in the pantry for a month and then took a month off to do some travelling. CSA welcomed me back with open arms … and I have been working in the pantry a few days a week ever since.

Now that you have been at CSA for a while …

I am noticing more people who are in need of services – especially individuals and families living in their RV’s. When I see people on the street in and around Mountain View asking for help, I make sure they know about CSA.

Now that I have been here for a while, I see firsthand the impact that CSA has in the community, which makes me want to continue to volunteer when I can. The volunteers and staff are so committed to what they do – they know the clients’ names and what’s going on in their lives. It’s especially gratifying to see how clients look out for one another and help each other out. Just last month, a long-time client spent time welcoming a new client and explaining how the pantry works. It was heart-warming and gave me a new perspective.

Volunteering at CSA has definitely enriched my life in ways I didn’t expect – from changing the way I shop to the lessons and stories from the many volunteers and people from different walks of life that I get to meet every day. Seeing the joy on peoples’ faces when they pick up their food puts a big smile on my face whenever I am here. I am grateful and proud to be a tiny part of the wonderful work that CSA is doing in the community. Plus, I am getting a good work out in the pantry – it’s a win-win overall!

If you would like to be considered for a future profile in this series, please contact the CSA Development Office at (650) 968-0836, extension 115.

 

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