When you walk into the doors at Riverbend Family Ministries, you’ll most likely be welcomed by a volunteer. During their regular office hours, Monday through Thursday 9am-1 pm, there’s always a volunteer either answering the phone, or greeting our clients and walk-ins for the day.
“We feel so blessed to have so many volunteers working here, honestly, they keep the wheels turning in our day to day operation,” said Riverbend Family Ministries Executive Director, Tammy Iskarous. “I stop and think, they’re all doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts – we’re so fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers.”
Iskarous says each volunteer is also super encouraging and are here to listen to our clients, even if they just want to come in, have a cup of coffee and chat.
There are 23 volunteers throughout the week that work at RFM, most of them work in the Client Service Department or the Data Entry department. Throughout the year, there are almost 150 volunteers that help out when there are special events.
The Client Service Department works one on one with our clients and their families needing aid with rental and utility assistance, job coaching, interview skills, resume writing and rehabilitation connections. Their goal is to provide training in basic life skills and tools to better their futures.
One of their Client Service volunteers, Mary Fisher decided to volunteer at RFM after retiring from a local school district. “When I retired, I was looking for a way to volunteer in our community and to give back, I already knew Tammy through my job at the school and have worked with children and families and thought it would be a good fit.”
Like many of the volunteers here, Fisher sees clients that are seeking assistance in some way, whether it be help with utility bills or rent. She says often times people just like to come in and talk about the current situation going on in their life.
“Our director is always looking for new ways to help families in this community, and I feel like that’s what makes this a place great,” said Fisher.
Another volunteer, Pam Coleson, who’s very passionate about the services RFM provides has been with them for more than five years.
“Every time I’m down here, I’m fulfilled and know that we’re making a difference, whether if we’re able to help or not, we help plant the seed and somebody else may come along and water that seed,” Coleson said. “We’re here to help break cycles and let them know there is a different way to do things and they’re not alone.”
Riverbend Family Ministries provides resources and training for smaller non-profit organizations in the Madison County area. They work together under one roof, providing families and individuals the tools they need to be self-sufficient. Their collaborative method focuses on holistic efforts for children, youth and families who’ve experienced trauma, most often due to violence, addiction, poverty and homelessness.