From cleaning pantry shelves and restocking, to removing large chunks of cement from the basement, this summer has been a busy one. To name just a few of the youth groups that took time out of their busy schedule to volunteer this summer are: The Boys and Girls Club, Grace Community Church Youth Group, Operation Barnabas Team Indiana — a group of young teens sent our way by Grace Community Church in July. For those of you unfamiliar with Operation Barnabas, it is a 27 day traveling ministry-training experience for high school students focusing on building authentic character, experiencing spiritual growth and creating a strong sense of community. In June we had the privilege of participating in the 2015 C.L.A.S.S. Leadership Summit. Director Ed Swartley spent an afternoon with 23, 4-6 graders sharing insight into what leadership skills are necessary within the not for profit social services sector and answering many questions about what The Window does for the community.
One young lady selected The Window as her confirmation assignment, and we were so impressed with her that we thought you would enjoy reading her story told in her own words.
“My name is Emily and I go to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bristol, IN. This year, I am thirteen and I am taking classes at my church to be confirmed. In order to be confirmed into my church, I must complete 8 community service hours regarding one of the 7 corporal works of mercy. They are: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, bury the dead, visit the sick, give drink to the thirsty, visit the imprisoned and shelter the homeless.
I chose to feed the hungry and volunteer at The Window in Goshen, IN. At The Window I volunteer in the pantry. The pantry supplies food for those who can’t afford groceries themselves. I think the pantry is one of the most important places at The Window. It helps the family receive food but not just give them meals. It helps the families become more independent. Inside the pantry there are sections for different types of food. As of now the pantry has 12 sections: vegetables, soup, beans, fruit, tomatoes, grains, cereal, meat, miscellaneous, eggs, bread and personal hygiene items. The job of helping in the pantry is very hands-on which I enjoy. The people receiving the food from the pantry have 2 cards given to them by the front desk worker. One card has the number of people in their family. The other card says what number person they are to show up for the pantry that day.
The volunteers call the numbers in numerical order and we bring them into the pantry. We bring the family to the first section and explain the process to them. I like to talk to the families that I help and get to know them. If this group has 4 people in their family, they get a certain amount of points for each section. Bigger families receive more points each section. Most cans are worth one point but some bigger cans can be worth 2 points and some smaller cans will be 2 cans for 1 point. We walk them through each section and load the cans they choose onto the cart and into a box. When they are done we bring their things out to their car or out to the street if they ride the trolley or walk.
I enjoy volunteering in the pantry very much. When it is not crowded, I like to organize the cans and bread shelves. The Window gets many donations from a variety of donors and the people who visit The Window are very thankful for the help they receive every time they visit. If you would like to volunteer at The Window in Goshen or donate visit www.thewindowofgoshen.com.
Thank you for your support of The Window and those who attend The Window.”
We appreciate all of our volunteers and each one plays a vital role in assisting The Window to fulfill its mission to serve those within the Goshen Community. It is always our hope that the youth who donate their time will develop a heightened sensitivity and awareness regarding those within the community who are not as fortunate as they are and struggle to make ends meet. Most of all, we hope it’s an experience that instills a life-long passion to give back to their community.
If you would like information about how you can become a volunteer, please call or stop in for a tour.