“I was a frequent rider of METRO for the past two years. I rode the #3, #9, #12, #7 and the #14 for travels to work and back, and to all of my other daily/weekly activities.
“I’ve worked at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for almost five years. I previously assisted in the volunteer center for four years through a partnership with Mature Services, now known as Vantage Aging. For the past nine months, I’ve been a full-time Foodbanker and serve as the Volunteer and Guest Experience Champion. I greet all guests in our lobby, help our volunteers check in, answer phone calls from people in need of food assistance, and help those looking for general Foodbank information.
“As the Volunteer and Guest Experience Champion, I have taken a lot of calls from people who are seeking help for the very first time. What stands out to me are callers who ask how the Foodbank works; this is another way of asking, ‘How do I get help with food?’ Other callers who stand out are people who can hardly speak because they are overcome with emotion and need. In both instances, I simply try my best to reassure the caller that that is why we are here – we are here to help. An interaction that really struck me was when a woman called the Foodbank with questions about our grocery distribution and what types of food items she might receive. Upon hearing the types of items she would take home with her, she simply started crying because she was so thankful.
“Every employee has stepped up to the challenge of working through this (COVID-19) pandemic. They not only work in their area of expertise, they willingly fill in in other areas as needed. (The pandemic) has heightened my consciousness of the importance of instituting safe practices in my daily life, and the ability to appreciate enjoying each day.”