Apr 18, 2012 • By

Lunch break volunteer

Martyn Crook knows how much the delicious meals made by Open Arms help people living with serious and life-threatening diseases. Because he’s survived one.

Martyn, a senior Consumer Insights manager at General Mills, was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. And even though he didn’t need the weekly meal deliveries of Open Arms, he felt the non profit’s mission was worth supporting after he recovered.

“I was lucky enough to not ever need a meal program or something that would support me, but it was really easy to see that other people would need that,” Martyn says. “I really felt like I wanted to be able to do something to give back, something that makes a difference.”

So he is.

We’re saluting employee volunteers like Martyn this week, as General Mills marks our “Think Global, Volunteer Local” initiative. Eighty-three percent of our U.S. employees volunteer each year and 51 percent volunteer around the world.

When Martyn delivers meals prepared in the Open Arms kitchen in Minneapolis to people with HIV/AIDS, MS, ALS or cancer – nutritionally tailored meals for their conditions – he’s doing it because he truly believes in the organization’s message.

I spent some time with him yesterday on one of his deliveries to see what it involves.

Martyn believes in Open Arms so much that he’s on its board. He also has a key role in its international outreach and expansion.

And, he also oversees the schedule for more than 30 other General Mills employees he’s recruited to volunteer for Open Arms. The employees involved spend one of their lunch breaks each week, delivering lunch, or dinner.

Editor’s note: During our current 12-day Think Global, Volunteer Local campaign, more than 3,000 General Mills employees and retirees from the United States, Latin America, South Africa, Europe, India, China, Asia and Australia are participating in hunger relief and environmentally focused volunteer projects.

This is the first post in a series highlighting our employee volunteering initiative. The second post was “Proud to partner with JA, the third was “5 questions with Donna Svendsen” and the final post was “Helping a community bloom again.” For more on our focus on volunteerism, visit GeneralMills.com.