“It’s just fun to see somebody smile, who maybe had a need for shoes and can finally get a pair” says Elna Meller Board Chairman of Adventist Community Services.
It’s a hidden gem right here in downtown Yuma but on Wednesday mornings is when you see it come to life.
For more than a decade Adventist Community Services has served hundreds of needy families in the community making a hug impact from such a small facility.
Board chairmen Elna Meller tells us about this 30 volunteer operation, saying,
“We are church sponsored, 70th Adventist Community Service, and we work with volunteers. Nobody’s paid anything and we don’t sell anything, everything is given away.”
Upon arrival each person meets with an interviewer and fills out an eligibility form and lists what their needs are. Once they quality, they will wait for their listed items from each department of the facility.
Meller walked us through each department and explains,” We have processed a few people here to begin with, than they will have this full of tickets. And it not unusual to give out 300 to 400 pieces of clothes a week.”
“This is the department here where they get their boxes of food and it’s according to the size of the family and how much they receive.”
“Every Wednesday morning anyone who’s is need comes here and this just so happens to be one of the stations. The volunteers here will grab one of these bags, place it into the box, and this bag has everything that that person will need including canned food items. There’s also juice, starches and hygiene products.” (Renee Summerour Reporting)
They also supply customers with blankets, pillows and toys for children.
It’s a noisy…and fast moving environment. Hard work for such a short day…but every volunteer does it with a smile!
“So many of them have really sad stories, and it’s just very rewarding,” says Interviewer and volunteer Izette Walker.
Sara Reynolds a two year volunteers adds,” There are so many people that need our help, and Im glad that I’m able to help.”
“But I enjoy it here, I enjoy all the fellowship and I enjoy helping the people,” says 19 year volunteer John Sipkens.
And with all their hard work you can’t help notice the overwhelming feeling of gratitude that just one day brings, to these families all year round.
Meller concludes,” Just knowing you’re helping those less fortunate than I am, and a lot of people are, it just makes you feel good.”