RESOURCE ASSISTANCE VOLUNTEERS, A Vital Part of WWCM’s Mission . . .
Dawnette Scott, one of many awesome WWCM volunteers, started in the back room at the old facility, sorting food and checking expiration dates. “I was looking for a volunteer opportunity, and to be honest it was convenient and had good hours,” she says.
That was 10 years ago.
There isn’t a job she hasn’t done, but for the past three years, she’s taken on the challenging but rewarding role of Resource Assistance Volunteer. “When someone comes in who needs help financially, we meet with them one-on-one,” Dawnette explains. And while there is a certain amount of paperwork, research, and data entry, according to Dawnette, it’s really an opportunity to work directly with those who need it most.
“I like helping people,” she says. “Sometimes people are embarrassed to be here. This role takes understanding, empathy, and often, just listening.”
Is it always easy? “No,” says Dawnette. “This can be an intense job. We can’t always help as much as we’d like.”
But there are also those times when things come together in a way that makes someone’s life better. “The other day,” she says, “a mom came in because her electricity was about to be cut off. She had four kids at home tracked out of school. We were able to help her with the bill and provide groceries from the Food Pantry. You could see the relief on her face and she was so grateful to be able to feed her children nutritious food while they were home for three weeks.”
In the role of Resource Assistance Volunteer, Dawnette says she’s always learning. “We recently had training to learn how to help people apply for food stamps [“SNAP”]. Using this knowledge I was able to help a woman who comes here regularly for the Senior Food Box Program by explaining that she was also eligible for SNAP. She was so grateful.”
Resource Assistance Volunteers typically work one day a week, Monday-Thursday, from 10:30 am – 2:30 pm. “We’re always looking for more people to help in this way,” says Dawnette. “The other volunteers and staff are just great, and the good work we do really matters. That is why I’m still here all these years later.”