Two testimonials from ARC AmeriCorps members about their experience with LifeCare Alliance on October 22nd, National Make A Difference Day.
“Every year, unbeknownst to civilians, the AmeriCorps celebrate Make A Difference Day. Groups volunteer together not only to hang out, but also to serve. This year’s team at the Red Cross adopted a “Meals on Wheels” route through local non-profit, LifeCare Alliance, to deliver hot meals to the doorsteps of those who would otherwise go hungry.
Lifecare Alliance is doing some of the most vital work to fight poverty and hunger in our community. The food that they cook and distribute sustains the lives of people all over Columbus. The non-profit attends to the scope of their clients’ needs by including personal hygiene, pet care, and baby items in their food pantry.
Sounds simple enough, right? Actually, “making a difference” proved to be more complex than expected. Doubts loom close behind the self-satisfaction that devoting a day to service can produce, you know that pat-yourself-on-the-back feeling that comes from doing a good deed. Even though it felt great to help, we found ourselves wondering can we ever really fix this?
We saw the emotional hunger that cannot be combatted with food deliveries alone; how some clients rarely see visitors outside of their Meals on Wheels volunteer.
As an AmeriCorps team, we are struggling. We have to decide to focus on the positives and never give up while working against the negatives. Make A Difference Day turned from a service day into a triple-dog dare for the rest of our term. It is our job to rise to the challenge.” -Sarah Kessler, ARC AmeriCorps, Franklin County
“Friday’s experience with LifeCare Alliance was both a pleasure and a difficulty. The clients we served were in great need of the care and assistance LifeCare provides. Working in disaster services at the Red Cross, I have seen local people in the worst of conditions. Typically, their needs are short-lived though. The clients of LifeCare have an ongoing need for camaraderie and resources provided by employees and volunteers. I consider it a blessing to gain a deeper awareness of the difficulties that our neighbors face. LifeCare Alliance is an excellent organization that services various populations of community members and their pets. It takes a special group of people to commit themselves wholly to such a noble cause.” -Cassi Sloane, ARC AmeriCorps, Fairfield County