Summer is on the way, and we are looking forward to some outdoor events for our employees and clients. Some of the annual events that we participate in are the Great American Cleanup, the Waynedale Parade and the Waynedale “Picnic in the Park”.
This year for the May 17th Great American Cleanup, we are attempting to work with three different neighborhood associations. Even though the event is a lot of work, our employees and clients always find the cleanup to be a tremendous amount of fun! We come back tired after doing the cleanup; rejuvenate, and then attend the post cleanup party at Headwaters Park. The party includes food, drinks, games, music and prize raffles. We have people who first worked the event as clients, and come back year after year to participate even though they are no longer our clients.
The Waynedale Parade was the first parade I participated in after I was elected Trustee. It is special to me because it honors our veterans. I enjoy seeing our veterans view and take part in the parade. Even though I have a large family event planned on every Memorial Day, I take time to participate in this great event.
Our office provides volunteers for the Waynedale “Picnic in the Park”. Our workers help with the setup, the games, and the cleanup. I look forward to seeing Beulah Matczak each year. Our volunteers combined with Beulah and her volunteers do a great job of working the event. At times it seems like the workers are having as much fun as the children who are participating in the games. Our clients volunteer through our Workfare Program, which is a part of our Employment Training Center.
In 1847, able-bodied persons who received township assistance were required to work in the community to give something back. Recipients chopped firewood and worked the farms and gardens for those unable to work or provide for themselves. This allowed citizens to accept help while maintaining their dignity. That spirit still exists within the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office. Wayne Township clients who receive assistance and are not employed full time participate in the Workfare Program. Today’s clients provide a variety of services for non-profit agencies.
The Workfare Program gives our participating clients the feeling of accomplishment and well-being through serving others. By performing work for their community, our clients gain an opportunity to improve their work habits and interpersonal skills. The agencies get extra help at no cost to them, and the clients learn skills that can translate into the client obtaining employment. Some clients have gotten jobs at the agencies where they worked through the Workfare program.
Each month our clients contribute over 3000 workfare hours to assist non-profit agencies and help at community events. The clients’ contributions to the non-profit agencies which serve our community help to make Fort Wayne the city we all proudly call home. The Trustee’s office greatly appreciates the commitment of the clients and community agencies to our Workfare program.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee