Everyday Heroes: Wendy Bukoski
VANCOUVER, Wash. —
There are those who are just born to serve; they can't help but take work home with them, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Wendy Bukoski is so into her job helping feed hungry families that her colleagues have to force her to take breaks or go home.
There's not a single day Wendy doesn't look forward to going to work.
“It doesn't feel like work when you love what you're doing,” she said.
She is the operations manager of Vancouver's Friends in Service of Humanity (F.I.S.H), but she's also a mother, a lunch-maker, and if you ask her volunteers, she’s their hero. She manages the entire volunteer staff of more than 100 people.
“I want to be like her when I grow up,” said Pam Davis, a volunteer at F.I.S.H.
Always on the front lines or behind the wheel of a forklift, Wendy makes sure her community is properly fed.
“That's Wendy. She has got the biggest heart; she really does. It's a pleasure working for this woman,” said Davis.
Volunteers feed between 35 and 95 homeless people a day, and about 1,700 families and 4,000 people total a month. Wendy knows each person by name.
Her volunteers say she can't help but serve.
“It's written all over her. You ask any volunteer and they will say the same thing,” said Davis.
And they did. Over and over again.
“I think Wendy is the most selfless person I've ever met,” said Ron McKnight, a volunteer.
“I love that lady! If I were 10 years younger, I’d marry her now!” said Lou Munoz, a volunteer. She's all heart. Sometimes a little too much heart because she wants to help everyone.”
She even helps her own volunteers. CeCe McKnight says she moved to Vancouver not too long ago. She got lost, but Wendy found her on the street while she was driving by and helped her get home.
“We love Wendy. She's the best. She saved my life,” said CeCe McKnight.
Whether it's the love she puts into this food bank or the altruism instilled in her volunteers, Wendy keeps these folks coming back every single day.
“It's a true pleasure being here with all these wonderful, amazing volunteers with huge hearts. Everyone's here because they want to be,” said Bukoski.
“The lives she's touched, they don't forget,” said Davis. “They all love her so she's my everyday hero.”
On top of food, F.I.S.H also distributes clothes to those in need. They are in dire need of volunteers and men's clothing, so if you'd like to contribute, contact Wendy.
F.I.S.H. is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.