Each of our eight staff members at LCS spends their work day addressing food insecurity, housing insecurity, and health issues in our community. That commitment to others extends beyond work as well. Here are just a few examples.
Our Food Pantry and Food Farmacy Coordinator Jenn Williams constantly scouts for resources as well as needs she can meet through social media and her church. The church she attends, Abundant Life Church, and the Fraternal Order of Police are next door to each other. They often find ways to support the community together. Last month, Abundant Life hosted a food and clothing distribution event. LCS, the Clothing Bank of Delaware, and the Food Bank of Delaware supplied all the items they gave away. Jenn and her husband Lanier joined church members, the Fraternal Order of Police, and LCS volunteers to help make this event a success. They used word of mouth, the church’s electronic billboard, the Heart of Giving Facebook group, radio stations, and flyers to promote the giveaway to the community.
Those of you who enjoy volunteering know you always can find opportunities to serve. For Jenn, it’s a rare weekend that she does not have some volunteer event to attend. On October 10th, Jenn and her husband both volunteered at Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at Abundant Life Church. On October 30th, they plan to volunteer again at their church’s Trunk or Treat activity.
While volunteering with younger kids has its challenges, you can find ways to introduce them to service as a family. On September 18th, Program Director Heather Mackson and her family went from the LCS Hunger Walk/Run to participate in the Down Syndrome Walk. At the end of October, Heather and her young daughter will volunteer at a benefit for the Brian Conley Veteran Resiliency Center, which provides support to veterans and their families while they reintegrate into society after active duty. While our Smoking Cessation Specialist Franco Thomas worked at our Hunger Walk/Run, his six year-old daughter Mia helped give out goody bags to everyone who completed the walk/run. Her enthusiasm made those around her smile!
After seeing a call for help cleaning up homes in the 11th Street Bridge community devastated by massive flooding from Tropical Storm Ida, Executive Director Rob Gurnee spent his Saturday morning taking down kitchen cabinets, hauling damaged appliances to the street, and removing rotted flooring. He was one of only a handful of people who showed up that day. He helped out the weekend before for the distribution at Jenn’s church. Rob also serves as a Eucharistic Visitor for his church, bringing communion to those who cannot attend because of illness.
Other LCS staff find ways to contribute to causes they support, from finding feral cats homes to aiding strangers on the street who need an umbrella, food, gloves, or a ride. Our Homelessness Prevention Assistant Program Director “Ms. Jean” Washington says, “I don’t really volunteer. What I do is find people, a lot of younger people, and help them with what they need at the time.” Her faith and mothering instinct have led her to continually reach out to others.
Our sense of duty to serve others extends beyond office hours and likely is what drew us to LCS in the first place. At the same time, LCS could not do what it does without our wonderful cadre of volunteers. We know the value and benefit of leaning into your community. We really do personify our values statement of “making a positive difference in the lives of others is essential to who we are,” and it makes our lives richer.
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