Last Saturday, we had a unique outreach visit to Common Ground Free Store, which is a store where all items are free. Items are donated to the free store, and when we were there, we saw clothes, shoes, diapers, small appliances, books, and toys. They also serve food to patrons, and served a full lunch and had many bags of fresh bread for patrons to take home. There are no income requirements and no need to show proof of income or questions about eligibility for the free store. After looking on the website, I saw that Delaware County churches, businesses, and civic organizations help to fund and run Common Ground. , individual donors donate much of the items at the store. We set up in the kid’s room with all the toys and books. We got to play our games and activities and give out goodie bags to almost every kid we saw!
On Monday, we spent the morning re-organizing the front office space. I was really excited to do this because we could maximize our efficiency moving forward. I prepped for our outreach visits for the week.
Tuesday, I had my weekly meeting with Laura and we discussed some more projects I could work on and also making progress on the rest of my work. I went to our outreach visit at Strawberry Farms Park in Westerville with the WARM Summer Lunch Program. The kids were fantastic at this visit and we had a manageable 30 kid event. Most significantly, I got the chance to use the Outreach Participant Program Survey I created to start assessing the metrics of our outreach program. Since the inception of the outreach program, we’ve seen over 23,000 children throughout central Ohio. The main question we want to answer with this survey is how we can encourage more of the families of kids we’ve seen through outreach to come to KidSMILES if they need our service.
On Wednesday, we had another great outreach visit with WARM at Alum Creek South Park in Westerville. I spent the morning prepping for the visit. When I got back to the clinic, I helped prepare for clinic that evening and also organized our outreach materials for our Summer Open House tomorrow evening!
Thursday was a big day! I came to the clinic in the morning and VISTA staff and I immediately started cleaning and organizing the whole clinic for our Open House in the evening. This is a very important event for KidSMILES because we invited our board members, volunteer dentists, dental hygienists and other dental staff, outreach volunteers, and current and potential donors. We also set up a table that gave an overview of our outreach program. Once the food catering arrived, slowly, our Open House guests started to trickle in. We had a diverse mix of donors and volunteers come and a strong showing from our current and potential educational outreach program volunteers. I talked about our educational outreach program and gave tours of the clinic. My family also came! I was so excited to give my family a tour of the clinic and have them meet the KidSMILES staff! Overall, I had a great day.
Friday was a pretty relaxing day compared to the rest of the week! We spent the morning cleaning up after the Open House and moved around our office furniture for more efficient workspaces. I worked on follow ups from the Open House and a couple other tasks I needed to get done. I also prepped for our visit on Monday.
I finished out the week on Saturday, where Columbus Foundation Summer Fellow Jessi e Crawford gave a private tour of the Pizzuti Collection to a group of other Fellows and me. It was cool to visit the collection and learn more about Jessie’s fellowship experience. We explored the Collection’s current exhibit, New-ism, which exhibited abstract and contemporary art that was no more than 14 years old. I grabbed a Short North Arts Passport, which lists the 17 art galleries in the Short North ad we can get a stamp from each gallery we visit. I usually go to Gallery Hop with my friends, so I’m looking forward visiting these galleries and finishing my Passport! It was a fun and informative ending to my busy week. I can’t believe I’m almost done. It has been such a rewarding and fun experience. I’ve learned so much!