#Neighbors@LHR Series-The Hudes Family’s Volunteer Decade

#Neighbors@LHR is a series highlighting how Loudouners from all walks of life come together at LHR.

Today, we’re talking to Kathie Hudes. The Hudes family recently recieved our Shining Star Award.*

Tom, Kathie and Matt Hudes are familiar faces at Loudoun Hunger Relief. They help staff our Wednesday grocery planner shift, and Kathie captains the Saturday grocery planner shift.The Saturday shift is staffed through Kathie’s recruitment efforts from St. John the Apostle, Leesburg parishioners, who have a hard time saying no to Kathie. We wanted to know what makes them keep coming back to the work they do at LHR, so Trish McNeal sat down with Kathie to find out.

Trish: What made you start volunteering at LHR?
Kathie: I saw an article in the paper about (then) Loudoun Interfaith Relief. I cut it out and meant to do something about it. I found it in a pile of papers about 2 years later and thought I’d better call! Tom and I started volunteering together, with some of the St. John’s Knights of Columbus, about 12 years ago. We started over at the red barn on South King St.

Trish: What surprises you most about volunteering here?
Kathie: I’m saddened and surprised about just how many people in Loudoun are in need. And it’s not always who you think it would be.

Trish: What are the worst and best things you’ve experienced in your work at LHR?
Kathie: The worst thing is when we’re short on food, or short on a particular kind of food (like rice or beans) that we know people need and want.The best thing is all the people we’ve met–the people we serve with and the people we serve. It’s incredible to know that we’re making a real difference in people’s lives.

Trish: If you could change one thing in the pantry, what would it be?
Kathie: I’d love it if we could offer samples of prepared food and recipes, so when we have a food that people aren’t familiar with, we can offer a taste of it and a way for them to use it.
Trish: We’re working on that!

Thanks to Kathie, Tom and Matt for all they do, and especially to Kathie for taking the time to do this interview!

*Previous recipients of the Shining Star Award: 2017-Rachel Roberts, our “Flower Lady”, 2018-the Ashburn Cares volunteer food drive group.
Left to right in photo: LHR Volunteer Manager Carla Fortenberry, LHR Board President Carol Barbe, Shining Star Award Recipients Kathie and Tom Hudes, LHR Executive Director Jennifer MontgomeryI sat down with Kathie to talk about the experience of volunteering at LHR.

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