For my third co-op I am continuing to work for the Yellow Springs Senior Center. As I have stated in my earlier post from last co-op “They are a non-profit that aims to “enhance the dignity, independence and quality of life for seniors in the Yellow Springs and Miami Township and to foster interaction among them and with the total community“” I have continued to work for this non-profit because I truly believe in this place and the good they are doing. Everyday I see firsthand that they are accomplishing their goal. They have truly gotten their seniors engaged in their community and with each other. The group events have continually growing numbers, the transportation system sees seniors to places that without us would have been hard to get to, and I even see more and more people getting help from the support services manager. The way the organization helps these seniors is truly something special.
When I proposed this co-op I was told that it would be difficult and that it would take a lot to keep it fresh and interesting for me but I still have yet to find a dull moment and I attribute a lot of that to the people that surround me at the center. The members and faculty have truly made my life a richer place to be. Everyday I have exchanges with members and faculty alike where they tell me about their life, their weekend, or even just a tiny fun fact that they heard. They then ask about my life and genuinely care about my answer. For example, one week a senior was working on a puzzle and we had an exchange where we discussed that I prefer crosswords to puzzle and next week when I arrived at my desk there was a book of crossword challenges waiting for me. It is little those little things that truly make me feel welcomed and valued and makes it worth staying for.
My boss has also kept this job interesting for me by giving me more responsibilities and tasks to work on. This quarter she has me engaging in Yellow Springs Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday “is a day where organizations around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. This year the Yellow Springs Senior Center will participate with two dozen other nonprofits in Yellow Springs to coordinate a local #YSGivingTuesdaycampaign. Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 28 is your opportunity to kick-off the holiday season by giving to your favorite local nonprofit(s).”
The Yellow Springs Community Foundation is the organizer of the Yellow Springs Giving Tuesday. However, each non-profit is expected to help out to a certain extent and The Yellow Springs Senior Center has generously offered to be the Giving Tuesday headquarters. However, our executive director is going to be on vacation and has left me in charge of helping the Yellow Springs Community Foundation with the event. For this event I have worked on advertising on social media, communication with some community members, and helped sett up the building for the event. It was truly an amazing event and by the end of it we raised over $40,000! Even though we did not raise as much as last year it was still quite an accomplishment and I felt proud to be a part of it. I think this was an amazing co-op and I would not trade the experience for anything.
(These are the results as posted from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation)
This is the Yellow Springs Senior Center. They are a non-profit that aims to “enhance the dignity, independence and quality of life for seniors in the Yellow Springs and Miami Township and to foster interaction among them and with the total community“. They achieve this mission by using such supportive programs as Homemaker Services, Social Programs for group activities, the transportation programs and many more. These programs help seniors get out and interact with the community so they can share their wealth of knowledge and experience. (You can read about more services here at https://www.seniorcitizenscenter.org/)
My job is to be the assistant to the executive director, Karen Wolford, who oversees all of the programs. She stays in constant contact with all of the program managers to make sure each of the programs and services we offer runs as smoothly as possible. She does this by finding grants for funding, creating new services when she sees the need in the community and so much more. As her assistant I get a variety of tasks.
Sometimes I do grant research, other days I manage their marketing, or she has me assisting the program managers. I start each day by going to her office and getting my task for the day which she determines by seeing where I am needed the most that day. Sometimes she has me go assist Robert, our transportation program manager, who will have me drive our members to doctors appointments or to the grocery. Other times I am assisting Mary Ann, the Senior Support Services Manager, who gives me such tasks as digitalizing her files. I’m also always helping our seniors with their different types of technology. When a member needs help they come back to my desk and I assist them and show them how to set up and work their phones, tablets, laptops and etc. I also have a class in this once a week where I sit with a group of members and show them how to run a certain piece of electronic.
One of my favorite parts of this center is how much we work with the community and other non-profits around town. Yellow Springs is very special in the way all of the non-profits in town, like the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, try help each other out and work together as much as possible. We often intermingle events with the other non-profits as well. We spend a lot of time with the Yellow Springs Children Center . One year we had a flash mob with the children for senior awareness day. Most holidays we get a visit from the children to the center as well. They come caroling or bring us valentines cards and just brighten everyone’s day. I have engaged with the community on a much more direct level thanks to center and all that they do and I enjoy every minute of working here.
For my first co-op, I am working at Glacier D. Glacier D is a great seafood restaurant based on the Homer Spit near the ocean. Most of the Alaskan economy is based on the tourism that is received in the summer. Thanks to the business tourism gives us, most people make enough money opening a business in the summer to last them the whole winter. Glacier D is not an exception. We open near the end of spring and stay open till the beginning of fall. Many of the locals now mark the start of the summer when we open the doors to our building.
The restaurant is a cute little shack that was made in the 1960’s and has been reconstructed and added on to keep upright. The owners are Lee and Jill. They are a happily married couple that decided to run a business together. A typical day starts out with me walking in the door and being greeted by them. After they greet me and we converse, I get to work! At the restaurant I take the orders from the customers and give the ticket to the owners who are also our cooks. They then get to work making the food. After the food is finished I deliver the food to the customers. We are usually really busy, with a line all the way out the door. It can get crazy but it is fun! One of the owners, Jill, has been training me so that I can cook the food as well. She has also been teaching me the business part of this job. Twice a week when we close at night she shadows me as I go around the building and take inventory and place our order with the company we get our product from.
I would have to say my favorite part about this job is the people. I interact with the customers daily and it is challenging but in a good way! The look on the kids’ faces when I bring them their food just makes my day.
Glacier D’s Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/GlacierD#