Helping Hands All Around

My first two weeks at LifeCare Alliance have flown by so quickly! I have been working primarily on two tasks: grant research and revamping the pet food delivery program.

The pet food delivery program, cleverly named Animeals, is modeled after the Meals-on-Wheels concept. Volunteers pick up pet food at our Harmon Avenue location, choose a route, and then go to individuals’ homes to deliver the products. Each route consists of about 10 stops.

Packaged dog biscuits waiting to be delivered to animals in need

Packaged dog biscuits wait to be delivered to animals in need

We first learned of the need for a Pet Care program when we discovered that some of our Meals-on-Wheels clients were feeding all or a portion of their meal to their pet. This is not beneficial to either the client or the pet, as the client is not getting enough nutrition and the pet is not receiving the right kind. By providing donated pet food to our clients with animals, both the clients and their pets can benefit more completely from the life-sustaining food and resources that we deliver.

I have been compiling a complete list of Animeals clients, and we will soon create new delivery routes to ensure that no pet is skipped over. These new routes will also help our volunteers by making the delivery process as quick and efficient as possible.

I have quickly learned just how important volunteers are in the world of non-profits. LifeCare Alliance has approximately 7,600 active volunteers committed to bettering the Columbus community. It is important that these volunteers feel comfortable and safe during their time volunteering with LifeCare. Because so many of our volunteers interact with animals, (Meals-on-Wheels and Animeals drivers, Help-at-Home volunteers, etc.) it is important to help these volunteers feel at ease around pets that may not be the most receptive to strangers. We invited Jennifer Henne of the OSU Veterinary Outreach Program to educate volunteers about different types of dog behavior, canine body language, and what to do if you sense danger. (She said that you should stand still, even if the dog has begun to attack you. I know that I would definitely have a hard time doing this!) Because not all 7,600 of our volunteers could be present for the session, we posted the training online for interested volunteers to watch in their spare time.

The training video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCgw43foHBs&feature=youtu.be

We hope that this information can help our volunteers feel more confident and comfortable working with clients who are pet owners.

Visit LifeCare Alliance on Facebook to check out wellness tips, opportunities to volunteer, and to see pictures of past events! https://www.facebook.com/LifeCareAlliance

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