Often before, during and after projects, the focus is on the numbers. We all tend to focus on the tasks marked off the list or number of people who gave selflessly of themselves to participate. While those numbers are valuable, the true impact of those numbers is not as easily measured. The tasks completed by the volunteers from Crossroads Church as part of their 2013 GO Cincinnati event could be listed as a set of numbers that would be impressive. It would certainly show how a group of volunteers gave their Saturday to help others. Beyond the numbers, we focus on the impact these good works will have on the families we serve.
Families often come to us when they are in crisis. They are seeking help from our staff in a time of trial. Like all of us, they want their families to be safe, their finances to be in their control, and their futures to be secure. Unfortunately, this often is not always the situation for families that come in to our centers. In these times of crisis, coming in to a center that is clean and freshly painted or gathering food from a well organized, spacious food pantry, shows these families that they are valued by their community and are recognized as worthy of our time and treasure. These are impacts of the work that GO Cincinnati volunteers performed at Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission sites across the eight county region.
The pre-school children who attend our Head Start Program do not know what a hosta plant is or know how many bags of mulch it takes to beautify our landscape. For them, their center is the place that introduces them to learning and prepares them to attend school. It is also a place that feeds them healthy meals, helps them learn to get along with others and find caring support from dedicated adults. They also know if the place they go everyday is clean and beautiful. Thanks to the volunteers at our Head Start centers, the children who are getting their introduction to learning do so in a bright, welcoming environment where they can explore, learn, and grow.
The numbers, in terms of volunteers who dedicated their time and tasks marked off of a list, are impressive and humbling. The impact of these actions is on the families, on the children and the staff here who serve them. We experienced a group of people coming alongside of us, walking with us, and showing us, and the families we serve, what service looks like.