WSC Monthly Bulletin - July 2020

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July 2020

"It’s a weird feeling. A mixture of heart break and a full heart."

WA Service Corps member April

My name is April, and I’m the Campus Kitchens AmeriCorps at Gonzaga University, primarily serving the Northeast Spokane community through Washington Service Corps. My position serves to re-purpose food donated by campus dining and other community partners into meals to deliver.
When I started my year of service, I wouldn’t have pictured volunteering while simultaneously preventing myself and others from catching a pandemic-level virus. I was also unprepared for the inevitable site closure that followed the mandatory state stay-at-home order. Nevertheless, despite the site closure, I was able to immediately continue my service at a local food bank called 2nd Harvest. For two months, my work went from re-purposing donated food into meals to local and regional food distributions for Spokane and the greater Inland Northwest.
Before COVID-19, 2nd Harvest was distributing two million pounds of food per month. During my placement alone, ten million pounds of food were distributed out to families. Each box contained frozen items and fresh produce for families to have quality food in a large quantity.
It has been amazing to distribute food in a different way than I was used to. I think the memory that will last with me forever from my alternative service at 2nd Harvest is our event at the CHAS Valley Clinic in Spokane Valley. I was doing what I had become used to doing - placing groceries in the trunk of someone’s car and going to the driver’s seat to hand a grocery gift card to the driver. The lady greeted me with watery eyes and said, “I love you and I don’t even know you. Thank you.” It’s a weird feeling. A mixture of heart break and a full heart. Heartbroken from seeing people struggling and heart full from relieving someone else’s burden for even just a little while. I loved it - every bruise from a pallet, sore muscles from carrying fifty pounds of food, early morning drives to Central and Eastern Washington sites, and the silent curses of difficult days. Because even through the tough times, I had such supportive people around me that taught me so many different levels of love and care.
[Serving] at two different sites during my first year of service really taught me how little I want to sit in an office and how much more I’d prefer getting out and working alongside folks ready to restore and revitalize their community. Which is why I’ve decided to commit to a second year of service, focused once again on Northeast Spokane in an effort to expand food access and reduce food insecurity.


Virtual service opportunity

Looking for an additional opportunity for teleservice hours? Consider sending thank-you messages to frontline workers through WordOfThanks. Contact your Coordinator if interested.

Health insurance - plan ahead

Members, as you prepare to end your service term, please note that if you've been covered by WSC's health insurance, coverage will end on your last service day.

We recommend you use WAhealthplanfinder to research options before your term ends.

Losing your coverage due to the end of your term should qualify you for special enrollment.


Life After: landing a job

If you're planning on joining the workforce after your term, check out WorkSourceWA.com. There you'll find workshops on resume-writing, job search strategies, and interviewing techniques - along with access to hiring events and job listings.

Go to Career Tools once you sign up.


Term exit tip

Reminder to site staff and members as the end of everyone's service term draws near:

In order to exit a member from the program, all timesheets must be submitted by the member AND approved by their site staff.

It is critical that this is done to avoid significant issues and delays.


Take care of yourself

These are challenging times, indeed. Please make sure you're taking care of yourself! This recorded webinar presented by WA State EAP offers many thoughtful, practical ideas for self-care.


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