The Many Faces Behind FACES

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Editor, The Herald:

In the fall of 2011 the FACES Board (Farmville Area Community Emergency Fund) decided it was time to make sure our procedures were completely up to date with the Virginia Food Bank policies. We started first by reviewing our present list of clients and decided we needed each client to reregister so that the information on members of each household was current.

As we started this process we realized that our present database system needed to be updated so that our listing of clients was more accurate and needed reports required by the Virginia Food Bank could be produce more efficiently. We sought the assistance from an individual that had taught Computer Science and Database Systems at Longwood University, John Arehart. He willingly took on this task and spent many hours on his own reconfiguring this database and then worked with FACES Board members and volunteers, teaching us how to use it. He even came to many Saturday morning distributions to answer questions the volunteers using the new system had. The FACES Board would like to express its deep appreciation to Dr. Arehart for sharing his time, patience and expertise. This task of reregistration would have been impossible without him.

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The process of re-registration also required the assistance of individuals to collect new data from over 500 client families. Several Longwood Student groups, such as the Longwood Ambassadors and the Alpha Beta Psi sorority, sent volunteers. One of the churches that regularly help to distribute food one Saturday a month, Worsham Baptist Church, also sent out a call for reregistration assistants. Gloria Eiban, Marie Jones, Sherrie Watts, and Sandi Frye cheerfully volunteered many Saturday mornings to assist with this large task of data collection.

The final step in this process was entering the data into the database and issuing new cards to clients for 2012. The new Registration Chair on the FACES Board, Linda Satkowski volunteered for this task and spent many hours entering this data and even called clients when data was incomplete.

This process of reregistration is a minor part of the FACES operation. Many individuals serve FACES on a weekly basis by unloading food bought from the Virginia Food Bank, picking up donated food in the community, sorting and bagging food, distributing food to clients, fund raising, writing reports, cleaning up the center, etc. All individuals working at FACES are doing this for free out of their desire to assist their fellow man. Continued community support is appreciated and needed.

Marilyn Osborn,

Former Board Member, FACES