The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) partners with The Salvation Army Red Shield Kitchen to train program participants as cooks and kitchen assistants. During the process, participants learn the state guidelines for properly handling food, how to properly clean and sanitize, as well as train for food handlers license. The training prepares participants to become employable based on their training. It’s a win win!
There is a sign hanging in the dining area of The Salvation Army Red Shield, it reads “I serve out of gratitude and thanksgiving for what God has done for me. I serve not to receive status, awards, attention, or even appreciation from man. I serve with a heart of compassion and love without discrimination. I serve so that I many give away the blessing which I have already received in Christ Jesus. I serve in a way that I may become transparent, allowing Christ to be seen in all that I say, all that I think, and all that I do”. This truly represents the staff at The Red Shield Kitchen. Keri Griffin, Kitchen Manager was overjoyed, she stated “NICOA means the world to me because I have trained and hired 15 people.” Keri indicates she loves the work the participants do and that they put forth their best efforts as well as given a chance they teach her new things along the way. This makes Keri happy to know she had a little something to do with motivating and inspiring others that bring out the best in her. Each participant just needed a chance, a skill, and to believe in themselves to find something that they truly love to do.
The NICOA SCSEP staff and staff participants each gave one word to describe November 16, 2019, the day of giving back and saying thank you. The words were Amazing, Engaging, Gratifying, Rewarding, and Hope! The most memorable moment was witnessing a family reunited in the dining room. The most notable moment everyone appeared to be similar in many aspects. We have the same hopes, dreams, goals, needs and challenges.