Nourishing the Human Spirit

My name is Claire Adams, and I am a recent graduate of The Ohio State University. I will be returning in the fall to pursue my Master of Public Health, focusing in Health Behavior and Health Promotion. This summer I have been paired with LifeCare Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that provides many health and nutritional services to older adults, chronically ill, and home bound residents in Central Ohio.

More specifically, I have been assigned to the Senior Pet Care Program. Having a pet can be a wonderful thing for older and/or home bound adults. It was described to me this week that these animals are “their companion, their social worker, their therapist, their protector, and their best friend.” The Senior Pet Care Program works to ensure that these animals are fed appropriate food, cared for by a vet, and seen by a groomer. This program is made possible by grants and generous donations of time and products. The goal this summer is to further expand the program through recruiting and training new volunteers, securing more funding and donations, and developing promotional materials.

My first few days at LifeCare Alliance have been spent researching grants and learning the ropes of the organization and the Pet Care Program. There are three main obstacles that the program faces as we look toward expansion.

  1. New volunteers are a must, specifically those willing to go out into the Columbus community and deliver the pet food.
  2. We are always short on cat food. (Cat food sells very well and very quickly, meaning that companies have less left over to donate to groups such as ours.)
  3. Although we have the funding to assist our clients with their pets’ vet bills, it can be difficult to find vet offices that are willing to provide services with the promise that they will be paid by LifeCare at a later time.

Although challenging, I am confident that these are hindrances that can be overcome, helping to Pet Care Program to become better than ever.

I am very excited to be spending my summer with The Columbus Foundation and LifeCare Alliance. There is much to be learned from the wonderful, experienced people who work at these vibrant, meaningful organizations.

For more information on LifeCare Alliance, visit http://www.lifecarealliance.org/

If you are interested in volunteering with the Senior Pet Care Program, more information can be found at: http://www.lifecarealliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7:be-a-volunteer&catid=4:general&Itemid=16

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