Today was our final day of service. Throughout the week, we had serviced at various locations around Atlanta including, the Central Night Shelter, the Atlanta Center of Self Sufficiency and Bright Futures House. Before today all of services that we had participated included direct service. I found this type of service the most fulfilling part of the whole trip. This is because I got to interact one on one with the clients visiting the sites. Today we served at Saint Vincent de Paul food pantry and warehouse. This is a client choice food pantry where costumers get to choose the food they would like to have instead of being handed allocated food. The task that was given to us perform included shelving all the donated food and house hold items that the organization had received. Unlike any of the services that we had participated this service involved more behind the scenes action then client interaction. It was very surprising to see the number of donations that they have received. In the half day, we were there we had stacked the shelves to full capacity plus more. Just the amount of food that was donated and not gone to waste like it would normally would made me appreciate the quality of life that I lead and how food plays a big role in the way I go about my day to day life.
We learned that there are many services that Saint Vincent de Paul offers to its clients other than just the food pantry. For them to make their clients more self-sufficient they also provide clothing services and more personalized services. I liked the client choice model rather than what one would normally see when thinking of a food pantry. This model makes it so the customers get to be more active in the choosing of food so that they are helping them achieve self-sufficiency.
The second half of the day was spent at the Atlanta Center of Self Sufficiency. This is another organization that helps their clients achieve self-sufficiency. In short terms, ACSS helps its clients get prepared for the work force, this is done by mainly giving them the confidence and skills needed to get then further in life. It was interesting to see how the how the different clients that came from many different backgrounds and experiences all had certain goals in mind when it came to employment, despite the hardships they had to go by. On this trip, we were able to spend a couple of days at ACSS and interact with the clients and learn about their life. While helping the clients pick out outfits for a job fair and helping to structure their resumes, it was very rewarding to see how a little help can go a long way. There was a confidence boost in the actions towards their future and their ability to move forward in life in a positive manner.