FACES ACES Provide Valuable Service

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two years ago a group of adults walked into FACES and volunteered to help. These young people are known as “FACES ACES.” They are part of the Alternative Day Support (ADA) program sponsored through Crossroads’ five day Support/Supported Employment program.

This program’s focus is on helping each person realize their full potential via a nurturing and supportive environment. Individuals are given choices in what they want to do. They receive support from the Crossroads’ staff in what is important to them.

FACES ACES are an important spoke in the FACES’ Thursday morning wheel. These young people do everything: sort food, pack produce, place eggs in cartons, and help unload the truck. They also load the bags of food provided to the elderly living in the Farmridge Candlewood Apartments.

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Rebecca Staton, ADS Program manger, said, “They always come back to the program with smiles on their faces and stories to tell about the work that they did.” Staton further stated volunteering has shown the individuals that they are an important part of the FACES program and community.

“The ACES are a great example of how volunteers can make a major impact in their community. They are an essential part of the whole FACES volunteer network that allows us to make weekly distributions to over 1,250 residents in need,” stated FACES President Ellery Sedgwick.

Linda Satkowski, FACES vice president and director of registration stated, “The ACES contribution cannot be expressed in words. I feel their work is of vital importance and actually I don’t know what we would do without them. These folks have taught me, and I am sure others, what a little patience can accomplish and to never underestimate anyone.”

The FACES Food Pantry serves all of Prince Edward as well as areas of Buckingham, Cumberland, Nottoway, Lunenburg and Charlotte Counties depending upon zip codes. Currently, FACES has 922 registered families—over 2,700 people in the greater Farmville area that receive food.

“It it were not for FACES volunteers many people, including those working multiple jobs, could not property feed their families,” said Ms. Satkowski.

Bobby Eiban, operations manager stated, “These young people are excellent workers and all tasks are completed to high standards. They are experts at stacking and filling freezers and optimizing the space we have for frozen foods.”

Sheila Hight, USDA coordinator, oversees the work of the ACES. “I watched these young people grow in independence and pride. They came to FACES unsure and tentative and now walk in and begin work within direction. These young people teach others how to perform certain tasks correctly. I am very proud of my volunteers and could not accomplish what needs to be done each Thursday morning without them.”

It is the mission of FACES to organize and deploy resources to feed hundreds of fellow citizens in need. This is a demanding job requiring many hours of work weekly from many volunteers. It is because of the contributions of groups like the FACES ACES that they are able to complete this mission.