By sharing something of themselves with others, people shift from the role of a client with deficits to the role of a valued community member; and in some cases passionate committed peer or primary leaders.
The following experiences are typical of many persons coming to seek emergency assistance at CARE. A couple came to our door and, with downcast eyes, hesitantly requested an Emergency Food Box. They explained that they had never before had to ask for food but that their cupboards at home were empty. While being served, the couple was told that, should they return for future assistance, they would be invited to complete an hour of volunteer work in exchange for food. The couple immediately brightened and stated that they would return the following week, not for additional food assistance, but to bring their children in to volunteer at CARE. They then expressed a desire to teach their children the value of contributing their time to worthy causes.
As another couple arrived to select gifts from CARE?s Emergency Santa Program, the father?s face reflected a mixture of shame and gratitude in accepting this ?charity? on behalf of his children. On their way out, the father helped to carry boxes into the Santa Shoppe. When an exhausted staff member expressed gratitude, both parents offered to stay to help with gift distribution. These parents then continued to return daily to act as Santa?s helpers. At the season?s end, a look of satisfaction replaced the look of shame on the father?s face. By volunteering their own time and expertise, both of these families now saw themselves as contributing CARE team members instead of as clients reduced to accepting handouts.
Call 480-833-8987 for information or stop by our center.
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