PressWire

ESR Hosts Day of Service for Annual Meeting

(Last Updated On: October 3, 2017)

from left to right, Kimberly Simms, Deborah Austin-Thomas, Karen Forrest, and Keith Ferger

Winston-Salem – Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR) hosted a Day of Service on September 27 in celebration of 53 years of service to the community. In partnership with local organizations and non-profits, participants in the Day of Service signed up to volunteer at different service opportunities throughout the community as a way of giving back.

ESR, which was chartered in 1964, chose to celebrate another year by volunteering in the community. “As a Community Action Agency, service is at the forefront of what we do, and is a pillar of who we are,” said Twana W. Roebuck, Executive Director of ESR. “This was a time for us to put that in action aside from our day to day service to the community.”

Participants in the Day of Service signed up to volunteer for a morning or afternoon shift (or both), and indicated their category of preference for service opportunities on their application. Based on their availability, participants were placed at one or more organizations and/or non-profits in Forsyth County.

The Day of Service began at 7:30 am with breakfast at ESR and a welcome from ESR’s Board Chair, David Clayton. Participants then broke up into their groups to volunteer. Following the first volunteer shift, attendees and second shift volunteers were invited for lunch at ESR where ESR’s Advisory Board Chair, Doug Atkinson welcomed participants. The second shift volunteers then dispersed to their volunteer spots.

Volunteer locations included Samaritan Ministries, the SECU Family House, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, Habitat Restore, Senior Services, Forsyth Humane Society, SECCA, and ESR. A group of ESR employees who were not able to participate in the Day of Service will be serving breakfast to residents at Quality Independent Living.

Staff, former staff, board members, interns, donors, and friends of ESR signed up to be a part of the experience. Holly Cunningham, an ESR intern and Wake Forest Divinity student, served at the Senior Services Adult Day Center where she helped residents as they completed art projects and participated in a musical performance put on by other senior adults at the center. “I was excited to learn about the multitude of services and activity opportunities provided by the center, and was impressed by the compassion and interest shown by the staff members,” said Cunningham. “They made each of us feel welcome and at home and allowed us to become part of the community for the day.”

Kimberly Simms, a Self-Sufficiency Success Coach at ESR, served lunch at Samaritan Ministries. “As a part of the kitchen’s daily crew and volunteers, the responsibilities and tasks I was assigned allowed me to gain the experience with the daily operations in feeding the homeless. This was truly rewarding as I was able to give back to the community.” The experience also helped Simms appreciate more of what she has. “I also realized the importance of being grateful for having the basic needs in life and to continue to lend a hand to someone in need. I look forward to establishing an ongoing relationship at Samaritan as a volunteer.”

ESR plans to schedule a debriefing session with participants to share their experiences.

ESR would like to thank Samaritan Ministries, the SECU Family House, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, Habitat Restore, Senior Services, Forsyth Humane Society, SECCA, Quality Independent Living, Starbucks, Harris Teeter, Jimmy Johns, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme, Iman Ahmed, staff, former staff, board members, donors, friends of ESR, and ESR’s Development Committee for making the Day of Service possible.

ESR is a non-profit Community Action Agency that empowers low-moderate income residents to become self-reliant. Programs help clients with financial education, housing, free tax preparation, down payment assistance, education assistance, career enhancement, and more. For more information, visit ESR’s website at www.eisr.org or call 336-722-9400.

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