When Donna Yaffee was young, her father did something that changed the way she would look at other people for the rest of her life. When her and her brother were walking into a local coffee shop, her father they saw a man outside down on his luck. Her father, Monte, didn't pass him by. Instead, he brought him inside, bought him coffee and sat and talked with him for hours, listening to his story.
Monte has always demonstrated a deep compassion for the simple fact that we are all human, each of us deserving dignity and respect.
"Rather than just giving him money or giving him food and walking away, he took the time to show us that a good way to give back is both through helping this man with his hunger and also validating him as a human being," Donna says, explaining that this experience made a lasting impact on her and her brother. "He always thought that every person is a human and has a history and a story."
With this same altruism and desire to do good, Monte continues to stay involved in his community at the age of 83. 2017 marked his 27th year participating in the Walk for Hunger.
Monte’s dedication to the Walk is evidenced by the tremendous time and effort he puts into fundraising each year. Every year, he hand-writes and mails 180-200 letters to his donors, thanking them for donating the year before and asking for donations once again. He even spends his own money on stamps and envelopes. Clearly, his dedication and personalized asks pays off – this year he raised an amazing $5,200 to help end hunger in Massachusetts. Altogether, Monte estimates he has raised at least $100,000 for the Walk over the years.
At 83, Monte still gets out on the Walk Route and walks a couple miles each year. "He loves to exercise and he’s limited in what he can do now, but he’ll always walk as much as he can for this cause," Donna explains.