Via Community Connections
Taren – The Crayola Factory
As a volunteer at the Crayola Factory in Easton, Taren works with hundreds of children every day. Taren’s shy and quiet demeanor disappears once she puts on her volunteer smock and starts handing out craft projects to the children. This wasn’t always the case. When Taren started volunteering, she was shy and rarely talked to anyone other than her Via Community Coach. But over the past two years, Taren’s sense of independence has grown and so has her confidence.
Now she readily initiates conversations with other volunteers and interacts with staff, her volunteer director and the children and families at the Crayola Factory. She often tells her friends and family about her volunteer work and how much she likes volunteering. And the staff at Crayola has taken notice. Taren is often asked to help on side projects that aren’t a part of her normal responsibilities and is asked to cover breaks for other volunteers.
Taren was recently recognized with The Crayola Factory 2007 Spirit of Volunteerism Award. Because of her dedication, style and grace, the Crayola Factory considers Taren an asset to their volunteer team. Taren’s sense of independence has grown and so has her confidence. She is a valuable member of her team, giving of her time to support the community and working with hundreds of children every day.
Alan – Chamber of Commerce, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Club
When Alan started working with Community Connections, he wasn’t interested in trying anything new. He was focused on his routine and didn’t want to do anything to alter his daily activities. He often refused to go to volunteer sites and wouldn’t talk with his peers or other volunteers.
Fast forward to today and you can catch Alan at any number of community sites volunteering with his friends. Instead of declining volunteer opportunities, Alan requests certain sites that involve activities he enjoys most like clerical work and any site that involves working around other people.
Alan is part of a team and initiates conversation with friends and other volunteers – he’s no longer satisfied to be on the side lines. His sense of humor has flourished and he’s always ready to joke around with his friends and other volunteers with one of his one-liners.
One of Alan’s volunteer sites, Meals on Wheels, involves interaction with other community members on a consistent basis and Alan jokes with the customers at every stop. Alan continues to develop communication and other life skills needed for independent living and through Community Connections has developed bonds and relationships within his community.
Meals on Wheels – Helping Build a Healthier, Happy Community
Hillary Clinton reminded us it takes a village to raise a child; but what about our grandma’s and grandpa’s? It takes all of us to assist these neighbors who are friends and families.
Staff and consumers of Via are playing a large role in this endeavor. Each week, year round, Via delivers approximately 40 meals on 6 routes. In addition, Via grocery shops weekly for three clients who do have family in the area to help them obtain the necessities of life. The impact of the Via staff and consumers service is felt everyday by Meals on Wheels clients. They greet each client with a smile and a meal. They inform the Meal on Wheels staff when a client needs to have a friend or family member check on them. Without the dedicated service of the Via community to help others in need, our job at Meals on Wheels would be made more difficult in reaching out to our neighbors. The impact of Via staff and consumers goes beyond helping the client. We are blessed with smiles and stories from Via consumers when they come into greet us before they go to deliver.
Neighbor helping neighbor is essential to the success of the Meal on Wheels service. The staff and consumers of Via are one of the keys that help us unlock the doors of loneliness and isolation felt by many and in return the rewards for serving others is a healthier, happier community.
Emily Vadasz, Meals on Wheels
For more information, please contact:
Denise Pioli, Via Community Connections Director
firstname.lastname@example.org| 610-317-8000 x467