A few weeks ago I was able to visit Faith In Action, one of our partner agencies located in Fayetteville. According to their website, “Faith In Action is a volunteer-based organization providing homebound seniors with free non-medical services to help promote their independence, dignity and quality of life.” They provide a wide range of services including “friendly visits,” transportation, technology assistance, shopping trips, mail and bill assistance, reading, and errands. The only requirement to be a client of the program is to be a non-driving senior, 60 years and older.
Faith In Action also has a food pantry that is available to seniors that meet certain income guidelines. Some clients are able to receive items such as paper products, canned foods, cereal and more. The best part about the Faith In Action food pantry is that items are tailored towards the dietary needs of seniors. All items are low sodium and many are low in sugar. Faith In Action is often able to supply them with things they actually like and want. They have even been known to fill special requests for specific cereals, coffees, and cake mixes.
During my visit I was lucky enough to meet one of Faith In Action’s clients during a home visit. Ms. Geneva was so sweet and loved having company over. We sat and visited with her for an hour and half. She told us numerous stories from her life including family memories, work stories, and neighborhood changes. Ms. Geneva spent 30 years working at the University of Arkansas in housekeeping, and any time she spoke about the University, you could feel her passion for her work and for the students, both past and present. She even showed off a picture of her with a giant hog that she had helped student’s build for their homecoming float.
One of the most touching stories she shared with us was about a Tylenol bottle she had sitting on her side table. She explained that it may just look like an ordinary bottle to us, but to her it represents much more. The volunteer that has been visiting Ms. Geneva for the past two years brought her the Tylenol bottle one day because she thought it may help with some of her pain. Ms. Geneva said that the simple gesture of bringing a bottle of Tylenol to her meant the world because it meant that someone cared enough about her to notice that she was in pain. She couldn’t believe that someone would go out of their way to bring her something and that really meant a lot to her. The way she spoke about the volunteer who cared enough to bring her something as simple as a Tylenol bottle is a true testament to the impact you can have on one person’s life with such a small gesture.
Faith in Action is doing amazing work across the Northwest Arkansas area and I am so glad we are able to support their work! We love our partners. Their work inspires us each and every day.
Manager, Child Pathway Out of Poverty Programs