Be kind, leave notes!

Week nine of the fellowship was spent mainly distributing surveys at Lutheran Social Services, Hilltop YMCA, and Gladden Food Pantry. I enjoyed going out and meeting people living on the west side. It was a good experience for an MSW student. The residents on this side of city are pretty poor and underserved. Some individuals were completely open with me about sharing personal details of their life once they discovered I was an MSW student. The individuals visiting Lutheran Social Services were pretty open to completing a survey, and their set-up was perfect for me to have a captive audience to present my survey to. Next I went to the Hilltop YMCA to observe one of our programs called Creative Connections, and to survey parents dropping their children off at the program. That night we ended up not having a lot of families stop by, and Y was having a pretty slow night so I wasn’t able to complete many surveys. Finally I went to Gladden Food Pantry to pass out surveys which was a bit of an adventure. Residents in Franklinton have different attitudes, and I pretty much had to sell the surveys to them. This pantry operates like an assembly line so I had stay on my toes. Some people rushed so quickly by me I never had a chance to even stop them to ask if they wouldn’t mind filling out a survey for us. All in all I had 33 completed surveys which was a little over half of what I had hoped to receive. Of course before I arrived they had 16 completed surveys so I doubled the response rate. If we had decided to continue distributing the surveys sooner than we had I am confident we would have a much higher response rate. I hope the next intern continues with collecting surveys, because I found some pretty good places to distribute them.

The rest of my week was spent making an excel sheet to enter the survey data to analyze, finalizing notes for the next intern, and printing off as much information to organize into folders for the next intern as I possibly can. I am confident the next intern will be left with more information, and a better idea of what’s going on than what I feel I had. I pretty much had a folder with flyers from other organizations, handouts from other organization, copies of the 16 completed surveys, and a few piece of a paper with handwritten notes. During my fellowship I had to spend many hours learning about the culture, demographics, just exactly what was done before me, and did we hope to accomplish. This is why I am working so hard to make the next intern’s job a little easier. I’m leaving them stacks of emails I sent, several pages of notes on what was done, information on demographics, culture, excel sheet for proposed budgets for west side fall programming, survey results, completed surveys organized into labeled envelopes, and recommendations for how they should move forward.

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