Volunteering is such an important part of retirement for me. While working full time, I was so busy with family responsibilities there was not time to give back to my community. As I approached retirement, I knew volunteering had to be part of my life. What a great decision it turned out to be. Through R.S.V.P., I can choose a variety of opportunities for service. What I do personally feels like so little but together we can make a big difference.
Volunteering makes us feel good. We get the opportunity to help individuals and organizations that are in need of assistance and that leaves us with a great feeling. Maybe it is a person who needs a ride to a doctors appointment and has no way to get there without us volunteering to help make it happen. We volunteer at the Henry County Health Center to provide patients and families with needed information and assistance during a trying time. We also enjoy stepping up to assist organizations like Old Threshers doing tasks that are busy work and requires many hands to complete. Join the RSVP volunteer effort and join John and Susie Kuhens in feeling good!
I volunteer from my experience helping my sister when she had cancer. I decided that driving people to their appointments would help people who needed help just like my sister did. I’ve found that I receive more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve met amazing people and I think it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
How often do you get to help someone save $10,000? As a SHIIP volunteer counselor, I have had this experience several times. Every year we encourage people to compare their Medicare drug plans (Part D) for the coming year, and every year someone is able to save thousands of dollars by changing plans. But many clients save $50, $500, or more every year just by changing drug plans. Or there was the client who moved here from another state and was having trouble getting her Medicare card accepted by her doctor. Turns out, she had had a fall at someone’s house several years ago and their liability insurance was still listed as her primary insurance. I helped her work through the process of getting that changed, thereby making health care available to her. You can’t put a dollar amount on that! When people first enter the world of Medicare, they have many decisions to make and SHIIP volunteers help people navigate through the process. I have met so many delightful people through this volunteer opportunity and I find the work gratifying and fulfilling. I can’t imagine my retirement years without doing this!
by Nita Dameron, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
The truck stop where Dennis worked for 16 years lost business and closed after the new highway was built near Salem, Iowa. Soon after, he found himself without steady work and turned to the food pantry for support. Without financial support, making ends meet does not come easy. As he spoke, his admiration for the Fellowship Cup began to show. His smile was more like an ornery grin as he recounted what the food pantry meant to him. He used to spend, on average, about $200 per month on groceries with food stamp assistance. The food pantry has cut it down to half of that now. He explains, “This really helps me to keep up with all of my other bills.” He has a part-time job, but is worried about state funding that is needed for his employment.”
You never know what the food pantry is going to have, “but I really like the fresh fruits.” He also loves the coupon box. He always brings coupons and shares them with others. When discussing the great free tax service the Fellowship Cup provides, Dennis said matter-of-factly, “I told different ones about it.”
By James A McBride, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
How David found out about the Fellowship Cup was through people that stay in South Park and asked him to go up there and get them a few things. He says that “the volunteers are nice”. As a client, he thinks the Fellowship Cup has been doing a great job. The client also goes on to say the volunteers do good jobs and the food at the Fellowship Cup was good this year. Even when David gets assistance he also gives back to others and lives his country lifestyle.
By Dustin Gieselman, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
Learning of the Fellowship Cup was beneficial to Janet. Janet first learned about the center through some of her close friends. Janet decided to see what the assistance program was all about. Going to the Fellowship Cup is more than just getting groceries. As Janet said “I miss getting to meet different people. It is just a nice place to be, it is a very friendly environment”. Janet also said, “The services I receive are mostly getting help with my weekly groceries”. There are many different things that the Fellowship Cup helps with. “They may help you apply for food stamps and they also have a store called the Quarter Maybe More Store, that helps you with clothing, furniture, and other various items I would need around the house” as Janet mentioned.
The Fellowship Cup as a variety of support programs in place to help the local community in Henry County. The Holiday Food Box that includes any items they can give during the holidays, F.I.S.H, (Friends In Service Here) helps with gasoline and lodging, Summer Snacks offers snacks to children of all ages in our community, Friendship Room which are rooms for individuals that need help with a place to spend the night while visiting family members in MHI or the prison, the Fellowship Cup Community Room is a room people in the community of Henry County can use and will seat as many as 60, and The Food Pantry helps people and families with weekly groceries so they do not go hungry, these are a very good things to have through the Fellowship Cup to help this community. Located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa it helps out the local community of Henry County. Janet comes into the Fellowship Cup with a big smile on her face. She knows that the people there care for her and are there to help. As you walk into the Fellowship Cup you see lots of people. There are tables that line the walls throughout the room. Sitting behind the tables are volunteers to assist the clients in informing them how much and what they are allowed to take for their weekly groceries. The clients then walk through a well-organized line and get the groceries that they desire.
Having an organization like the Fellowship Cup is very important. Older adults in the United States are dealing with hunger in a big way. In the next decade 36% and higher of the elderly will be hungry (Feeding America, 2013). This number is vastly increasing. As the years go by the United States will find themselves giving assistance to our older population reaching 72.1 million by 2030 that will acquire some sort of services (Feeding America, 2013). Reaching out to the older adults and giving any help one could give is very important. One never knows what has really happened in a person’s life to put them in a situation to not be able to get the food they may need through the week. People like Janet are not homeless, but she just may need a helping hand once a week to help with groceries and other varies items.
Allison Edmonds, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
The elderly client slowly proceeds through the food line, carrying a bagful of food in one arm and leaning on a cane in the other. She moves with careful steps towards the exit door. When she looks up, her eyes are warm and vibrant, and a friendly smile spreads across her face. The client receives food distribution from the Fellowship Cup because she is disabled, has a great relationship with the volunteers, has a few thoughts on the food she receives, and highly recommends the services to anyone else who needs the assistance.
“I have a lot of health issues,” the client says, “which make me unable to work. I am on work disability with a fixed income, so the Fellowship Cup has really helped me out.” This resident of Henry County has four major medical conditions, with one issue being fibromyalgia, or chronic muscle pain and stiffness. Every week on Thursday, she drives from her home to the Fellowship Cup in Mount Pleasant and receives food during the distribution. The client has a card with her name and number on it, which is scanned before she goes through the line to pick out which food to take. “I don’t take anything I won’t eat,” she says in a serious tone, “because I do not want to waste anything.” She is quick to follow that with a laugh and says, “I can make pasta last for three days.” After collecting her goods, she returns home until the following week. This has been the routine for this woman since late 2012.
Her appreciative attitude is noted when asked what the community should know about the Fellowship Cup: “I don’t think people realize what it’s like to be down and out. For people like myself who are on disability, it’s a true blessing.” While she finds the experience of receiving assistance to be very humbling, the client does wish the community would understand that a lot of them have very valid needs for obtaining the food distribution, rather than from lack of motivation to help themselves. She says, “I used to work three jobs and was self-sufficient, but because of my health issues, the rug was pulled out from under me.” With a soft smile, she remarks that the Fellowship Cup is a necessity, not a desire.
The client is very conversational, and with such a warm and inviting personality, it is of no surprise that she has a positive relationship with the volunteers at the center. “I think the people here are awesome. I think they genuinely care about the people that come here (for assistance).” She continues by saying, “It’s almost like they are grateful they have food to give you.” The woman also shared her thought that no one at the Fellowship Cup looks down on the clients and that the volunteers are “very aware that we are people too.”
When asked if she had any suggestions on how the Fellowship Cup could improve, the client was quiet and reflective for a moment. She then spoke again of how grateful she was for the food assistance and that it was such a blessing to her, but her only thought was that it would be nice to have a little more food variety. However, this isn’t because she is a picky eater; due to her health conditions, certain foods irritate the client and she has to maintain a careful diet. She is lactose intolerant and some meats negatively affect her as well, so she is unable to take some of the food that is offered. Her other wish was for more fresh produce, such a lettuce or bananas, which she described as “treats.” The client stressed that she does truly appreciate what she is offered, however, and that she is grateful for receiving any food each week.
After questioning the client on if she would recommend the Fellowship Cup to others, she responded with an enthusiastic “Oh, absolutely!” She believes it provides a lot of “good” to people and that others will have the same positive experience that she does each week. While she admitting to not knowing much about the Fellowship Cup, the client spoke very highly about the food distribution program and how it has helped her out significantly.
This woman was so grateful and appreciative that it was heart-warming to hear her tell her story. She is a friendly, smart woman who needs the assistance due to her health conditions, enjoys her relationship with the volunteers, and recommends the Fellowship Cup to others who need it too. However, she hopes that in the future, she can go from being a client to being a volunteer to help others; “Maybe one day, I will be able to give back, and I look forward to that.”
Elijah Albert, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
When Bob was asked how he found out about the Fellowship Cup, Bob replied, “Oh I lived and work in Mt. pleasant for years.” He continued on saying, “It’s one of those things you just know about, because it’s always been there. I’ve also always known people who went there or volunteered at the Cup.” The way he spoke about the Fellowship Cup seemed as if he saw it as common as the local drug store, gas station, or pantry.
Being that he was so familiar with the Fellowship Cup he said he would often refer people there, especially during his career. Bob mentioned that during his career he worked as a maintenance coordinator, where he kept multiple apartment complexes up to par. With this type of work he frequently came into contact with new people. When meeting new members of the community, or just new tenants in need of help he would refer them to the Fellowship Cup. He would usually tell them, “If they can’t help you they’ll find someone who can”. This is calming information to know that there are services in your community that’s there to help members make ends meet.
It’s a great feeling to know that the Fellowship Cup is there to offer help with issues regarding food, shelter, or other things that can be paid for. That’s amazing to have, but the Fellowship Cup is also there to help members of the community emotionally. For some people receiving assistance can be embarrassing. However, at the Fellowship Cup this issue doesn’t come up as often as it might at other food pantries. This is probably because of the tight knit community. When speaking on this topic Bob said, “The volunteers know clients by name, and they don’t make anyone feel any lesser”. Bob took it a step further and stated the volunteers work quickly to get people in and out, but he says, “The volunteers are always smiling”. Being treated with respect can be comforting for people in tough positions.
Regardless of a person or their family’s economic position, the Fellowship Cup treats people respectfully like the ideal neighbor. This is because the Fellowship Cup isn’t an exterior structure, but it’s a part of Henry County. It’s been around for generations. Members of the community can reach out to the Fellowship Cup, common to reaching out to friends of the community. People who reach out to the Cup don’t have to feel bad or embarrassed about it either because, volunteers not only care about your physical being, but they also care for your emotional being. There is genuine connection between the Fellowship Cup and the members of Henry County. When Bob was asked where can the Fellowship Cup make improvements he answered by saying he couldn’t think of any improvements that need to be made.
Lindsey Scott, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
So how does Rebecca feel about the Fellowship Cup? Rebecca is so thankful that she has become a part of the Fellowship Cup. She says that the volunteers there make her feel welcome and good about herself. “I am not ashamed about coming here. They really help me stretch my paycheck and food from week to week” she states. When asked what she wants people to know about the Fellowship Cup, she says that they should not be embarrassed to receive help. The volunteers are friendly, make you feel wanted, and will do anything to help you. “ I have already recommended people to the Fellowship Cup” says Rebecca.
In conclusion, Rebecca loves that she is a part of the Fellowship Cup. She thinks they do great work in the community. “ I can not believe how many people they help in the community” she states. This is what surprises Rebecca the most. She would not be were she is today without the Fellowship Cup. She is thankful that she has a place to go when she needs somewhere to go where she won’t be judged. It is a place where she can be her self. The Fellowship Cup helps many people every year and Rebecca could not be more thankful that she has found this place.
Don Poore, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
Six years ago. Bill said he works on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He picks up grocery items with a pick up three times a week. Groceries are picked up from Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart, and occasionally from the Ottumwa Food Bank. The Ottumwa Food Bank generally stops by the Fellowship Cup bi-monthly. When Bill makes his pick-ups, there isn’t a shopping list for Wal-Mart or Hy-Vee. He picks up what the grocery stores can’t use. Bill said he volunteers, because of “Friendship, and it is the Lord’s work.” When asked why he picked the Fellowship Cup, he replied, “They picked me.” He does appreciate the dinner the Fellowship Cup has once a year for the people who volunteer.
“When asked about the reason the Fellowship Cup has been successful for thirty one years, he replied, “Good leadership.” Bill remembered when they started the garden plots. He says there are two more garden coming. The first garden plot is just down the street from Bill’s house. All the food from these garden plots goes to the Fellowship Cup.
Bill mentioned the sack lunches distributed during the summer. During school time children get
their lunch from the school, but during summer there are no meals from school. These sack lunches take the place of the school lunches. They have five pick up locations in the county for sack lunches. Those locations are the Fellowship Cup, Green Valley, Chesapeake Apartments, Salem, and New London. During the year 2011, 11,207 lunches were distributed. Bill mentioned the Quarter Maybe More Store, which he says helps the Fellowship Cup survive. Bill said volunteers work there hanging clothes and pricing them. “Then the Quarter Maybe More Store is what one may call a division of the Fellow ship Cup?” “Right.”
As I remember an old saying, “Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach a man how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.” Food, clothes, and shelter seem to be the basic needs of everyone. Bill seems to have a joy rather than a job. Many thanks to Bill and to all the other volunteers at the Fellowship Cup, who have a joy rather than a job.
Lindsey Scott, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
Doug Darnold, the First Presbyterian Church, and the Fellowship Cup share the same beliefs about God and his message about helping people in need. It is our job to help people in our community and give them the support they need until they can stand on their own two feet again. “ My most rewarding experience would have to be observing and seeing how the Fellowship Cup works efficiently,” he states. He explains that he loves seeing the Fellowship Cup help so many people and grow together as a community. It brings the community together for the greater good.
Allison Edmonds, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
At the Quarter Maybe More Store, a woman named Mary stands at a counter in a back room that is full of clothes, carefully sorting each article out and putting it on a hanger. She is in a room full of hung-up clothes that vary in sizes and types, from baby outfits to adult jeans; Mary is working quickly and efficiently.
The Quarter Maybe More Store is a store located in Mount Pleasant that sells clothing, household items, and furniture as well on Mondays through Saturdays. They receive merchandise by donation and then re-sell it back to the public. The Quarter Maybe More Store is part of the Fellowship Cup, which provides services to people who need assistance. The Fellowship Cup offers assistance such as food distribution, summer lunches for children, and affordable rooming for families who come to Mount Pleasant to see their relatives in the prison or Mental Health Institute.
Mary says, “I sort clothes and we hang them and them out to the floor. We get sheets, towels and blankets as well.” Mary is very proud of what she does; there is a spark in her eye when she talks about the process of sorting through all of the donated clothes and artifacts, because it is work she truly enjoys. Every day, she sorts through the clothes that people have donated. Mary says they receive so many clothes that it takes a while to go through each pile, especially because the store will not accept items that are not clean or sell-able.
The volunteer says that there are customers who come to shop at the store every day, with a handful who even come more than once a day. Mary smiled and said, “Well, when we get new stuff all day long, people know that and want to get to it first.” She has been at the Quarter Maybe More Store for almost a year; she is very grateful for the opportunity to work there. Mary recollects the day she first started. She went in for what she thought was an interview, but ended up starting her first shift instead! “I was so surprised,” she said, “because I thought the director would tell me to come back the next Monday, if I even got the volunteer opportunity.” When it is time for this volunteer to go in for a shift, she walks from her house to the Quarter Maybe More Store, because she lives only a few blocks away.
Mary’s first experience with volunteering was at the local nursing home in Mount Pleasant. Mary’s mother lived there for seven years, and throughout that time, Mary would help set the tables and wheel people in to the dining room each time she went to visit her mother. Unfortunately, Mary’s mother passed away last spring and that greatly changed things for Mary. “My friends encouraged me to come here and volunteer,” the Quarter Maybe More Store volunteer said. She says it has proved to be a very positive experience so far, because she enjoys the work and the people. “The people that I see make us feel like we are doing something right.”
Mary, speaking with appreciativeness, talks about how much she enjoys being a part of the Fellowship Cup. She thinks all of her coworkers are very nice and recalls one incident that made her feel very good. “I fell and hurt my arm; I actually dislocated it. And I couldn’t believe how thoughtful everyone was. They made me a card and one lady brought me food. It was really nice.” Mary thought this was a rewarding experience because it showed how much she meant to her coworkers at the Quarter Maybe More Store.
She isn’t just a volunteer at the store: Mary is a frequent shopper as well. In fact, she was wearing blue jeans that she had purchased there. The volunteer says that she will look at clothes as they come in too, because most of the items are of good quality and are great bargains. When asked if she buys anything besides clothes, Mary laughed loudly and said “I collect cookbooks, I have about 300. But I shut my eyes,” when passing by them.
It was easy to see why Mary was deemed a perfect fit for the Quarter Maybe More Store. She was very friendly and caring and spoke highly of the store and people who come in to shop. Mary works quickly and efficiently at sorting through merchandise and hanging it up to be marketed on the “floor.” Mary is viewed as someone who provides great assistance at the store, but she is the one who appreciates what the store has done for her. As Mary says, she will work there “until they get tired of me.”
Kayla Hesseltine, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
To start the interview off I asked how she became involved in volunteering at the Fellowship Cup. She responded in an at ease response with a smile on her face, saying she had been reading the newspaper one morning and ran across an ad for the Fellowship Cup that had an opening for secretary help on Friday mornings. She said she needed something to help occupy her time because she is retired and she felt the calling to do this. “The Lord puts a desire in your heart and if you open your heart to his leading then you allow yourself to be lead to the calling he was for you.” She said she opened her heart and the position randomly fell into her lap.
She has currently been helping at the Fellowship Cup for a little over a year now. She helps with various tasks in the office. Some of her duties are answering phone calls, filing papers away, data entries into the computer, and making phone calls to get support from the community. She has a list of about 50 churches in the Henry County area that she calls to ask for support and donations. She also keeps them updated with the projects the Fellowship Cup is partaking in as well as asking the churches to keep the Fellowship Cup in their prayers.
She smiles as she tells me that calling the churches and other individuals and companies to get them involved in donating items to the Fellowship Cup is something that is helpful and necessary to help the individual’s they serve daily. “There is a need in Henry County and it’s good to have as many people involved in this process to help and give support to others when they are in need.” She said that while calling people is a good way to get help from those who are already involved in helping the Fellowship Cup it is also important to think of ways to get others involved. One of the most important ways she said this was by one on one face to face communication with someone. She said this because it lets the other person feel that they are needed, and that they have a special talent that the Fellowship Cup could use. “The feeling of being needed is powerful and it makes them more likely to become involved.” She said this with a smile and twinkle in her eye. She thinks that is one of the best ways to let people know they are needed in a special way, and then in return the individual would want to make a difference in others’ lives.
Through her experience at the Fellowship Cup she said she learns something new every day. She said there is always something more to do with all the projects that the Fellowship Cup is in charge of. “There is simply not enough time in a day to complete all the tasks and events that are going on at the Fellowship Cup.” She said the more support they get at the Fellowship Cup the more they are able to accomplish together as a community. At the end of the day that is the main goal. “I feel that the Fellowship Cup is exceeding these demands accordingly.” She ends on a note of pride and excitement for other projects to come and be a part of in the future.
Vincent Cambruzzi , ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
It was a Thursday at about 2 o’clock and Caroline was working her usual shift at the Fellowship Cup distributing food to the clients that come in. “Well the food distribution program has only been going on for approximately 5 years, but I did volunteer at the Fellowship Cup before that” explained Caroline when she was asked about her position at the Fellowship Cup. Caroline loves to volunteer because she feels “blessed” that she is able in mind and body to help people in her community, which she so dearly loves. “Well we have been involved in the Fellowship Cup, actually since before it actually opened,” Mrs. White explained. She refers to “we” because her and her husband have been there volunteering since before it had actually opened as the Fellowship Cup. “As the Bible says ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Caroline is a Christian lady who is well spoken but also very quiet. She is loud with her actions and lets them speak before her words. She has a big heart and wants people in the community to be helped so that no one is left without something they need in their life, whether it is food, water, shelter or love.
Caroline serves at the Fellowship Cup from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday. On Thursdays the clients will come in and receive twelve pounds of food and it ranges from different foods within the main food groups. Being a resident of Mount Pleasant for the past fifty years, Caroline wants to help the people within her community. Before she was a volunteer at the Fellowship Cup she taught English for twenty-five years in the Mount Pleasant school system. “The connection with family, former students or whatever makes it much easier for me to communicate with them, than some other situations.” Caroline explains that having a good background of dealing with people and personalities that she feels like volunteering is just like teaching, because she is able to help her community as a whole instead of just a classroom of students. Caroline uses the word “blessing” a lot because she believes that as a part of the Christian testimony they should be relied upon to help in the community and give what they have, whether it be clothes, a place to stay, food, and/or anything else that could help someone who is less fortunate. She believes that she is “blessed” and there is no reason why she should not help people, especially when it gives her so much enjoyment. She also says that “people are retired, who are bored, I believe that is a choice, because there are so many opportunities, not only at the Fellowship Cup, but in neighborhoods, churches, hospitals and care facilities they are always things that can be done.” Caroline is such a vibrant and driven women which makes her impact at volunteering at the Fellowship Cup so rewarding for her and the people that she is around.
“I think coming every Thursday is at the top of the list because more people get help more often,” Caroline explained as her most rewarding experience when volunteering at the Fellowship Cup. “It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside,” she stated after explaining how it feels to see all these people receive things they thought they may never have during the year. When Caroline talks about her experiences working with the Fellowship Cup her eyes get real big, she smiles, and she perks up with her posture and tone of voice, because of how much joy and pleasure it brings her to see the smiles and happiness of the people she is helping.
Caroline has believed in the dream of the Fellowship Cup expanding but much like in all things there was some hesitation during the transition. “It scared me, but it has turned out to be a huge blessing to the community, and through lots of prayer and faith the community has embraced the expansion of the Fellowship Cup” Caroline explains when talking about how the Fellowship Cup has changed since she arrived. She loves that they are expanding and doing more within the community because it allows so many people to get help.
Caroline enjoys what she does as a volunteer at the Fellowship Cup, and has made an impact on so many lives with her stint at a volunteer. She is one of the nicest ladies you will ever meet and if you get a chance to stop in and talk to her I suggest you do so. She is a very intelligent woman with a lot of knowledge and wisdom to share. She is truly a good person and will help you if you ever need it. The world needs more people like Caroline to help out of the goodness of their hearts, and not expect any type of gratitude aside from good feeling it gives you, when someone has been helped.
Elijah Albert, ENG 311 SP 2013, Iowa Wesleyan College
In a perfect world everyone could accomplish anything on their own. However, that isn’t the world we live in. Material possessions can disappear faster than they come, and a man whose rich one day can be in desperate need for help the next. Life can get difficult for someone struggling, and they can feel like they’re in a deep hole. However, coming out of that hole becomes more manageable with help. Being that this is a well-known fact, anyone that can help should help. Age, gender, and socioeconomic status does not determine if someone needs a helping hand, so it shouldn’t deter anyone from giving out a helping hand.
Diane genuinely enjoys lending a helping hand. She can be described by using the word helper. It’s what she does. Diane is live and upbeat. She volunteers at the Quarter Maybe More Store, which is a service that’s run by the Fellowship Cup. She explains how she helps at the Quarter Maybe More Store by saying, “I keep track of all the books, and keep them organized”. She also helps by taking merchandise in & giving out receipts, marking new merchandise, and putting the new inventory out in the store. Diane has been volunteering for a little over a year. Helping out is something she has carries over from her career.
Diane grew up seeing her father helping others. When describing her childhood, she made a reference to a time when her father paid for someone who was at the gas station and couldn’t pay. She explains how this has affected her life by saying, “It’s been ingrained in me to want to help”. This is one of the many qualities that make a great volunteer.
Other qualities also contribute to the making of a great volunteer. Diane believes that other important qualities to have when volunteering include the “willingness to do anything asked and having a good attitude”. Possessing these qualities are important, because at any time a volunteer may be asked to do something they aren’t use to, or to do something new to them. Instead of getting frustrated with the task, having a good attitude will make the process easier for everyone. Diane also believes that another important quality to have is the knowledge of the service. In this case it would be having knowledge of the store. She says this is vital because “on the floor I get questions all the time”. Knowing the answers to these questions and where to direct people is important. It helps the service run smoothly.
Although the good qualities of volunteers have tremendously helped the Quarter Maybe More Store and the Fellowship cup last for so many years, all the success cannot be attributed to it. Other factors contribute to the success of this service as well. Diane gives some of the credit to the support of the community. When describing how the community helps the services she says, “Many people help by simply cleaning out their homes, and bringing in the stuff that they no longer want”. According to Diane, the churches in town are also helpful. Although the churches and the community are both important when it comes to the success of these services, the biggest factors of them all seems to be the people in charge of the services. She explains how the people in charge contributes to the lasting success of these services by saying, “Melisa is a big part, she’s very organized” and “the board of directors really know what they’re doing”. She explains how the knowledge of the board of directors helps her and possibly other volunteers by saying, “the service isn’t micro managed and volunteers have the freedom to think for ourselves. We also have the ability to make suggestions when needed”. All these factors together are the reasons for the success of the Fellowship Cup, and they make the process of volunteering much more rewarding for the volunteer.
Everyone that volunteers at some point in their lives can agree that the process is rewarding. With a huge smile on her face Diane describes this aspect of volunteering, “Giving back gives me a great feeling!” She describes the feeling as if it couldn’t be replicated from anywhere else. She continues on the topic of the great feeling she gets from volunteering by stating how much she enjoys meeting the general public. It seems as if something as simple as, interacting with the public, exchanging smiles, and helping the elderly seems to make her day. Based on the excitement in her voice, she also genuinely enjoys the moments when she gets to see children smile. With great detail she says, “Some days kids go running by the store and they suddenly stop by the window just to wave, and when I wave back they grin and take off running! Those are the most rewarding.”
Diane is a helper; at an early age she saw her father helping others. She adopted those helpful behaviors and made them her own. She chose a career that enabled her to display her helpful behavior. Even though she doesn’t need to, she continues to help others, at a time when most people retire to relax. Aided by the church and the community, the Fellowship Cup and the Quarter Maybe More Store provides Diane with the opportunity to continue helping. Ms. Wickham possesses all the qualities a volunteer should. Even though she goes in to help others and put a smile on their faces, she can’t help but to leave with a smile on hers.