BELLBROOK — Cassie Collein, her husband and her 9-year-old daughter needed toilet paper this spring due to coronavirus-related shortages. To get it, they went to the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Family Resource Center in Bellbrook.
When Collein saw on Facebook that the resource center was seeking volunteers, she saw that as her chance to give back.
“When the opportunity came to be able help people in a similar situation …” Collein said, “this is something I could do.”
Collein lives in Sugarcreek Township and works full-time as a contractor on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She spends about five hours a week coordinating grocery and clothing pickups and deliveries for the resource center, among other duties.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, resource center clients can’t come in to “shop” for groceries in the food pantry. They also can’t choose from the free, donated clothing at the center without an appointment.
To get groceries, clients fill out a form on the resource center’s website where they indicate what groceries they need and whether they will pick them up or need them delivered.
Collein uses Google Drive to pass this information to other volunteers and staff at the Family Resource Center and sometimes fills orders herself.
Her busiest times are Sunday nights through Monday afternoons, but she’s on standby to handle emails from clients who need to change their grocery pickup time or want to change from picking them up to having them delivered.
She also makes sure the forms that clients fill out when they need something like school supplies are up to date.
Kelsey Hurlburt, the executive director at the Family Resource Center, hired Collein. Before bringing Collein on, she was doing Collein’s work as well as her own. She knew she needed to hire someone else, but said she wanted to be sure she found someone competent, responsible, and detail-oriented with solid communication skills.
“I need somebody that I can trust to know that all the loose ends are gonna be tied up,” Hurlburt said, “because otherwise it’s somebody’s food for the week [that they don’t receive].”
Hurlburt said Collein’s email response to the resource center’s Facebook post was detailed and grammatically correct. She knew just by reading that Collein was perfect for the job.
“She knows what she needs to do, so she just does it,” Hurlburt said.
In the time Collein made available to Hurlburt, Hurlburt has created a summer fun box program to provide kids with activities they can do at home. She’s also coordinated a sock and underwear drive, worked to raise funds for the Family Resource Center and hired a new staff member.
Collein’s work at the Family Resource Center hasn’t only enabled Hurlburt to serve the community more fully. It’s allowed Collein to do the same.
Recently, an acquaintance told Collein that she had a neighbor who was getting rid of a bed. The acquaintance knew Collein worked at the resource center and thought they might be able to use it. Through the Family Resource Center, Collein coordinated the donation of the bed to someone who needed it.
Collein said she enjoys working with Hurlburt and the other volunteers and staff at the resource center because they’re welcoming and kind. She didn’t know what to expect when she first met Hurlburt, but said they were comfortable with each other right away.
Collein said that being a volunteer for the Family Resource Center is more rewarding for her than being a client.
“It’s doing something to help during this time when we all kind of need to be helping each other as much as we can,” she said.
Cedarville University senior Madeleine Mosher is an intern for Greene County News.