“Love is a part of something like Poverello, you know, it’s just not a job, you know, we are affecting people,” says Poverello’s latest VIP Lee Fulton. Lee drives a truck for Poverello and more. He goes on, “…you’re not just driving and loading a truck you’re actually interacting with clients”.
A South Florida native, Lee was born and raised in Miami’s Liberty City. In his spare time, he loves to fish. It doesn’t matter if it is fresh water, salt water or deep sea, Lee loves it all and always hopes to catch his dinner. Grouper, snapper and Coho are his usual catch. Formerly a cross-country truck driver, Lee is married with two adult sons and five grandchildren to keep him busy. Lee says one of the things he enjoys most is working with his Poverello co-workers.
When asked what motivates him day in and day out: “It is a job, but I gain satisfaction as far as what we do here, you know
I’ve seen time, over time, over time, people within Poverello helping other people.”
But Lee does much more than put the metal to the pedal and watch for pedestrians, his responsibilities at Poverello have grown along with the organization. Poverello has recently added “pop-ups” to the program line-up. Currently there are two on-going pop-ups. One is in Jupiter and the other is in West Palm Beach. Every week Lee and his co-worker drive to Jupiter or to West Palm Beach to distribute dietary appropriate grocery bags to Poverello’s off-site clients. In addition, Poverello has begun providing grocery bags specifically for children at the pop-ups. In order to make this happen, Lee loads the truck the day before. The next morning, he arrives at Poverello at 5:00 am to finish loading and to be on the road by 6:45 pm. The truck is equipped with a freezer and a refrigerator. He usually finishes distribution around Noon, but not before the last client has been served. There was an additional pop-up at a recent Miami street festival, and there are more pop-ups on the horizon.
Lee has concerns when he views the pace of Poverello’s growth over the past few years. He sees funding as the biggest challenge facing Poverello: “I don’t know too much about the funding but I’m assuming funding is associated with growth, and you could be huge. So, you have to somehow manage money against the services. As far as I know this is done with grants and private donations. We also have eBay and we hold events to raise funds. The Bowl-A-Thon is a good example and there are others. And of course, there is our Thrift Store.”
Lee describes himself as detail oriented, consistent, and smart. The proof is in the pudding when you work for Poverello. At the end of the day, Lee says, “You know, I’m helping people and doing something that’s important, rather than just driving a truck from point A to point B.”
“What I spent is gone. What I kept is lost. But what I gave to charity. Will be mine forever”. -author unknown
Article written by Charles Johnson, Poverello Volunteer