Stephanie Wu Winter spent many years working in the financial services sector but she always had a longing to use her skills and talents to make a meaningful difference in the lives of her community members. “Growing up, my family greatly valued serving, uplifting, and engaging with their community. I volunteered often as a kid and it’s something that has always been a significant part of my life,” said Stephanie. Wanting to commit to her value of strengthening her community and fulfilling her passion of ensuring that families and children are without basic needs, Stephanie began working at Hunger Free America (HFA) as the Director of Strategic Volunteer Initiatives four years ago.
Hunger Free America is a service partner of Repair the World Brooklyn where Repair the World fellows and volunteers have helped to uplift programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food by serving and advocating for them. “Every child in America deserves proper nutrition and now I’ve dedicated myself to making sure that happens. I also want to help volunteers recognize the magnitude of the impact their service makes in the lives of their neighbors.”
When reflecting on key moments of her past four years at HFA, Stephanie often goes back to the year spent working alongside Repair the World fellow, Riki Robinson, who served in 2018-2019. As a food justice fellow, Riki worked to ensure urban farms and food pantries in Brooklyn continued to thrive and provide nutritional food to local communities. “Being able to witness Riki and other fellows grow and learn in this space while meeting the vital needs of the community was incredible. When I think of the times I see people maximizing their impact in meaningful ways, I think about the fellows from Repair.” Riki is now the Program Manager at the Jews of Color Initiative’s New York Hub.
“I never underestimate the role that volunteers play in the community and also how valuable the voices of those we serve are. While in this space I’ve seen people be so candid about expressing what the true needs are and sharing their expertise based on their experiences,” said Stephanie. “It’s been truly powerful to be more intentional about the work and how we serve. As I’ve entered this space full time I see my values in action every day. Through working with fellows, volunteers, and our staff the intersections of social justice and volunteerism makes it very clear that we can’t address one community issue without addressing others.”