“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

As my work with WARM and the Kids Lunch Club continues, I realize how many hats non-profit employees wear.  WARM (http://www.warmwesterville.org/) has only three full-time employees, meaning they must fill multiple roles and accomplish numerous responsibilities.  Recently, I found myself compiling daily meal count forms from each site to produce a summary of the first five weeks of the Kids Lunch Club program.  Sometimes, I can get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture.  However, seeing the numbers of how many children are being fed a nutritious, free lunch meal brought me back to the mission and what is truly important.  In the first half of the program this year, we have averaged 198 meals/day, totaling 4,760 meals to Westerville area children!  With the collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and W.A.R.M., we have observed a huge positive impact upon children and families due to weekend backpack meals.  Including the regular lunches provided at the Lunch Club as well as the backpack meals, close to 9,000 meals have been provided to children!  These numbers may not mean much to an outsider, but last year’s total number of meals served to children was 3,818.  On days when the numbers of participating children seem lower than average or we accidentally over-order meals, it is good for me to remember what we are doing is critical to each child.  I’m excited to be a part of this growing and changing organization. 

The full-time and part-time staff had a monthly meeting, which I was able to attend this week.  Occasionally, I can feel like I’m in the “Lunch Club world” so it was enlightening to check in with the other departments to hear about the great projects on which the other staff are working.  I was especially pleased to hear about the 54% increase in volunteers this year thus far.  The active community engagement in W.A.R.M. is truly inspiring and encouraging.  In May, W.A.R.M. was chosen as a recipient of the 2012 Torch Award for Ethical Enterprising by the Better Business Bureau.  This prestigious award recognizes organizations which emphasize the highest standards in leadership character ethics and ethical enterprising.  The executive director of W.A.R.M., Scott, spoke of celebrating this success together, reminding me of the last learning session with Cramer & Associates.  Speaking of learning sessions, I am anxious for the next one later this week! 

Signing off until then,

Owen

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