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May 2015 News News page Archive

WMCAP intern Karli Babylon's work with the Senior Nutrition Program helped her see why the program is so essential to our community.

WMCAP Ohio University intern Karli Babylon experiences our community in an "up close and personal" way

Graduate school tends to be filled with reading, writing, research, and little to no sleep. Finding something to help break up that routine is almost essential to make it to graduation. Lucky for me, I was able to find this in the form of a job (solving two problems at once) with a community outreach position at Washington-Morgan Community Action. My time has been spent doing a variety of projects and jobs, one of my favorites being working with the Senior Nutrition Program.

This phenomenal program offered me the opportunity to see the community I was working with in an up-close and personal way. As a West Virginia resident who recently relocated to Athens, I'm familiar with Appalachia but had never spent any time within Washington or Morgan counties. I knew I needed to get out and meet the community in order to really excel in my position at Community Action. By helping out with the Senior Nutrition Program, I was provided with an opportunity to see why programs like this are so essential, and garner an even deeper understanding of the Appalachian culture and the community that Washington-Morgan Community Action provides services to.

My first experience was delivering meals throughout the city of Marietta and out into some more rural areas. I was nervous, excited, and really interested in learning as much as I could about everyone and everything. The driver I rode with clearly loved her job and the people she delivers to and shared so many stories with me, helping to ease my nerves and answer some of my questions.

After the first delivery, I knew two things for certain: One, I wanted to come out on meal deliveries as often as possible and two, this program was doing wonderful things for so many people within Washington and Morgan counties. The smiles that lit up the faces of these individuals when I walked through the door were incredible. Everyone was so welcoming. They wanted to know who I was and everything about me because I'd never delivered to them before. It was such a heart-warming experience to have multiple people ask me if I could come back next week because they'd like to see me again.

Luckily, when it came to actually visiting one of the nutrition sites, I got to go more than once. Spending an afternoon having lunch and playing Scrabble with a group of individuals much older than 24 probably isn't everyone's idea of a good time when they are my age, but I absolutely love it. It gives me a chance to sit down and really spend some time with the people of this community while simultaneously building my vocabulary because they are fantastic Scrabble players. I love to hear about their children, and grandchildren, and they are bound and determined to help me figure out what I'm going to do when I finally graduate. I feel lucky and honored that I get to spend time with them and have been openly welcomed into their homes and social circles.

I believe, especially at my age, that it's hard to understand the services and programs that seniors need to maintain a sense of normalcy, or simply to survive. By having these experiences with Senior Nutrition, I now have a really profound sense of pride that I am working for an organization that provides these services and programs.

Funding for the Senior Nutrition Program is granted from a variety of sources. Washington-Morgan Community Action receives funding from the Area Agency on Aging under Title III and funding from the Senior Services levy.

Washington-Morgan Community Action Washington and Morgan Counties, Ohio

218 Putnam Street, Marietta, OH 45750 (740) 373-3745
50 W. Third Street, PO Box 398, Malta, OH 43758
(740) 962-3827