I apologize for the delay in writing! Since I last blogged, we attended an inspiring, impressive, and affirming learning session about careers in nonprofit. There, a statement was made that success results from patience, persistence, and a willingness to change. The past week at work proved this advice to be true! The Kids Lunch Club is wrapping up (Friday, August 10 is our last program day before the kids return to school on August 15), and various staff members have been finishing their terms with AmeriCorps. This means I’ve been out in the field for a couple of days, getting to see the true fruits of our labor. Occasionally, it can be a challenge to focus on precision of paperwork, meal counts, demographic information, etc. when my desired focus is feeding and engaging the kids. The direct contact with children and families in the field fuels my energy to continue the other, less direct but essential work.
Also this week, Deb and I had a deadline for a grant application for next year. Working on it numerous days – we gathered needed information and data, wrote narratives and needs statements, and met with W.A.R.M.’s executive director to discuss potential additions and changes. Since I never experienced the grant proposal process before, it was an intriguing and enlightening event. Later in the week, several W.A.R.M. staff and I had a meeting with a few individuals from the Ohio Association of Food Banks in reference to advocacy about childhood hunger and specifically about a possible continuation of the backpack weekend meals.
The evaluation I am collaborating with Otterbein University to complete is in its final stages. The focus groups are finalized and we will administer individual surveys all of next week to both volunteers and participants (adults as well as children). As the lunch club program ends on August 10, I will follow up by compiling and analyzing the findings the following week (and amazingly the last week of the Fellowship already!). I am anxious to finish up this aspect of the evaluation project.
Reflecting on my time at W.A.R.M. and the Kids Lunch Club, I have had a varied and broad perspective on work in a nonprofit organization, witnessed and participated in meetings and assignments I was surprised to encounter, and grew from these experiences.
In closing, in today’s Columbus Dispatch I read about the loss of the past president of The Columbus Foundation. I feel inspired by the life of James Luck. He was a passionate man that used his resources and intelligence to help those in need, and you can understand how The Columbus Foundation has grown to be an organization in its giving.