CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Most of us receive gifts on our birthday, but Susan Greenberg decided she wanted to give something back on her big day. So she threw herself a birthday party at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, asking her friends not to bring presents, but rather volunteer their time.
"It's a wonderful place to volunteer!”
And for Susan Greenberg, a wonderful place for a birthday party.
"I decided to bring a group for my birthday one year. Their present to me would be coming with me to volunteer," Greenberg told FOX 32 News.
Turning another year older turned into an obsession with volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository - not just for Susan, but for her friends too.
"I started with a group of four, and now we have 11 that come once a month to volunteer with me."
It's not an easy job.
"It takes some physical muscle."
But it's making a difference on this special day called Giving Tuesday. It's a global effort to get people involved in charitable contribution.
The efforts at the food depository center around feeding one out of every six residents of Cook County.
And the network's success is dependent on the generosity of its volunteers like Susan and her friend Ellen Cutter.
"So often, we are giving things that people don't need, But this is giving our time in a way that is really important,” Cutter said.
Organizers say they would not be able to do what they do without volunteers.
There are plenty of ways you can make a difference this holiday season, even if you can't volunteer at the food depository.
For example, you can organize a food drive. One website even has instructions on how to do it!