Creating a More Positive Community—for All
If our ACTions truly speak louder than words, then the ImpACT of CAMP Rehoboth is most evident not only in our advocacy work, but in the day-to-day programs, classes, free counseling, and health testing we offer that touch individual lives. The Membership Matters team is bringing you one story monthly to help celebrate the successes your membership gift and matching donations make possible. Stay tuned each issue to see how even a minor ACTion can have a huge impact on one—or many—lives in our community.
“The people for whom we provided a meal weren’t the only ones who benefited from that dinner,” says Debbie Woods, a long-time volunteer with CAMP Rehoboth’s Outreach Program (CROP). “The 13 volunteers who came together to make that meal possible—and all the CAMP Rehoboth members who helped to fund it—were so grateful for the sense of shared purpose and for the opportunity to provide a community service.”
In late-March 2021, Delaware was still struggling through an ongoing pandemic, and all that implies: stress, loneliness, restrictions, limitations, regulations, and fear. Vaccinations were underway, but only among certain portions of the population. The light at the end of the tunnel seemed both distant and dim.
Undaunted by that challenging scenario, the CROP volunteers decided to make someone’s day brighter. They ended up brightening the days of 75 “someones.”
They did that by responding to a need expressed by A Sheltering Heart, a component of the Lighthouse for Broken Wings. The non-profit was sheltering 62 homeless people—including 26 children—at the AmericInn in Rehoboth Beach and needed help with supplying meals.
Long-time volunteers Debbie Woods and Leslie Sinclair devised a three-phase approach to meeting that need. First came “the plan”—raising funds, enlisting volunteers, and delegating essential duties.
Debbie and Leslie did some preparatory pre-shopping—and calculations—to inform the fundraising and shopping efforts. For example, how many packages of what size of mac ‘n cheese would it take to feed 62 people? How many brownies could they get from each box of brownie mix? What was all that going to cost?
Estimates in place, they launched a Give Lively fundraising campaign that shortly yielded about $500—more than enough to fund the meals. Plans moved forward.
Next up: a Zoom meeting for the 13 volunteers who signed on to help, with each person assigned to shop or cook or drive.
Shopping complete, the cooks stepped up to prep and heat and chop and slice and package the food. The resultant meals included pulled pork and chicken tenders, mac ‘n cheese, sliced fresh veggies, applesauce, and brownies.
The drivers then delivered the meals to the AmericInn.
That meal made for the brighter day enjoyed by 75 people: the 62 people sheltering, and also the 13 volunteers. Volunteers found great satisfaction in providing a direct service to the community and to families in need. But also, they found a sense of camaraderie as they worked within and across teams to meet this need. And, especially for first-time CROP volunteers, they found new connections along the way.
Even as it serves the broader community, CAMP Rehoboth also “creates a more positive” community within as volunteers step up to help and find they, too, are beneficiaries of the effort. ▼