Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” With this quote in mind, the Ross Medical Education Center Kokomo, Indiana campus decided to try something different in helping the community. They set out to sponsor a mobile food truck from Food Finders Food Bank to benefit those in need in their community.
Campus Director Shannon Spencer contacted two other businesses in their neighborhood to see if they would like to help in sponsoring the mobile food truck. Without hesitation, Solidarity Federal Community Credit Union and Stout and Son funeral Homes said yes! Then she contacted Alec at Food Finders and set July 12th for their truck day. From Ross they had 30 students as well as several staff and faculty members volunteering. This allowed them to see firsthand some of the needs in their community. Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union and The United Way of Howard County had several employees that came over and volunteered with the Ross team as well.
Reflecting on the day, Eylssa Ramsey, student in the Medical Assistant program, shared, “I really enjoyed being a part of the mobile food drive. The other volunteers were hardworking and kind. The people we were helping were all so appreciative. I wanted to help with the food drive because I understand how stressful not knowing where your next meal is coming from can be. I was raised by a single mother and even though she was hard worker sometimes it was still hard to make ends meet. So to help take that stress off of other families has always been important to me. The mobile food drive is a great organization that helps many people.”
It was a day filled with emotions as Monica Metz, Financial Aid Student Support Representative explained, “It was great to see the students come together as a whole and serve our community. Many residents commented on how grateful they were, and it makes me feel humbled that I had the opportunity to help them. Volunteering is something that everyone should experience.” Clients began lining up at the building at 6:30 a.m. and the truck did not arrive until 12:30 p.m. This gave the campus a visual of just how important the need for food in their community really was.
Once the truck arrived, Alec held a volunteer meeting and explained what he needed from everyone. They brought out tables and everyone placed the food on the tables where there were labels that let the volunteers know how many items can be given off each table to the clients as they come through the line. At each table were at least two to three volunteers who handed food to the clients and also helped restock the tables as they became empty. Other volunteers went going through the line with handmade carts to help load the food. It was like grocery shopping with friends that just needed an extra hand.
The campus loved this event so much that they are planning another food mobile stop in November. If you have never volunteered in your community, Ross in Kokomo wants to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and help a neighbor!