With his warm smile and friendly laugh, Rocky Hembrom has been volunteering for more than two months at Save & Serve. While nearly all volunteers are from the local community, Rocky joins the staff from Bangladesh through an international volunteer exchange program for young adults, directed by Mennonite Central Committee (IVEP). Through this year-long program, participants live with a local family and strive to build understanding across cultures. Rocky’s host parents are Verlin and Karen Troyer of Berlin.
In Bangladesh, Rocky studied business and marketing while at university, and then received his master’s degree in development studies. His business focus makes him a natural fit for volunteering at Save & Serve.
While volunteers at the store vary in ages, Rocky is especially impressed by the older volunteers. Considering the many individuals he has met in the past two months, he sums up the volunteers, “Commitment. Yes, they are working hard, coming faithfully.”
Rocky finds it rewarding to support MCC through the proceeds raised by Save & Serve. He brings the awareness that MCC is active in relief and development work in his home country of Bangladesh.
Some classmates and friends in Bangladesh may not understand how Rocky could come to the Unites States, this land filled with opportunity, and not earn money but rather serve as a volunteer.
Rocky said his mother is supportive – she is happy he has the opportunity. “God wants our time, not just money,” Rocky said. When he considers each day at Save & Serve, he tries to keep a broad perspective. “I am encouraging myself,” he said. “I am giving my time to God.”
If you visit Save & Serve in the coming months, you’ll have a chance to meet Rocky, share a conversation and experience his warm personality, too.