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Personal Narrative: My Experience With Non-Profit Service Learning

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II. My Experience with Non-Profit Service Learning When I arrived for my first day to volunteer at Irving Cares located at 440 S. Nursery Road, Suite 101 in Irving, Texas, Kroger’s grocery stores had just ended a food drive in which Irving Cares had received many boxes of canned food, bakery goods, bread, and large bins of produce. All volunteers sign in and out each day in a folder in the front office. After a tour of the facilities, I started unpacking all the canned products. This involved carrying a box of canned goods from the warehouse to the shelves in the food pantry, opening the box and placing the canned foods on the shelves, breaking down the empty box and putting it in the recycle bin back in the warehouse. Dented cans were to…show more content…
This area also was used to get rid of excess food when the supply was too much in the food pantry and it was better to get it directly to the clients before it spoiled. Boxes of cereal that had expired were another item that was directly moved to the open area for clients. Otherwise, the clients were not allowed to have their orders filled in the food pantry. This was the job of order fillers. Each shelf had directions on how many of each product was allowed for a certain number of family members. For example, one person would be allowed seven cans of assorted vegetables. Order fillers went through the aisles, retrieving a certain amount of each product such as canned vegetables, canned beans, canned tuna, canned chili/pasta, canned fruits, pasta, cereal, and grain products, meats, breads, eggs, milks, toilet paper, pastries, cookies, and desserts. Food orders were balanced to meet the needs of the clients. If a client was homeless or travelled by bus or train, the food amounts were less because they had to carry the load. Clients with cars were able to take the shopping cart to their car, unload the groceries, and return the cart. Clients filled out a small paper form with travel information, number of family members, and…show more content…
Clients come to the window and sign in on a sheet with the type of assistance they are requesting. We ask them for their photo identification card and look up on the computer to see if they have an existing file. If they have an existing file, then we retrieve it from the filing cabinet, if not, we create a new file for them. Once we have the existing file, we update any information such as dependents, what number of assistance they are receiving since they cannot exceed six, and if they have a change in address. All files are labeled with the first two letters of their last name. Once the files are updated, it goes to another worker who enters the information in the database and then to the caseworker. The caseworker meets with each client to find out why they need assistance and to document this in the database. Reasons could be due to unforeseen expenses such as medical or a car repair. After the caseworker has met with the client, the client then has their food order filled. Since February is a slow month, clients are usually are helped immediately and there is no long wait. Clients that are new must fill out a two page assessment form which is put in their file. After the clients have been served, their files are filed back alphabetically in the filing cabinets. Only one to two people work the intake during the day. According to Irma, an intake volunteer at Irving Cares, on Monday, February 22,
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