Daily Point of Light # 1716 Aug 31, 2000

As the media and society focuses on accounts of negative acts, Faith In Action strives to be a positive impact in its community. People of all ages work together through this volunteer, care giving ministry. Faith In Action of Piatt County was founded in 1997 as an outreach project of the Piatt County Nursing Home. The initial funding for the program was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Faith In Action is a volunteer ministry of help designed to be the hands in action and the giving hearts in the community. It is a home and community-based outreach program targeting senior adults in the Piatt County area. It organizes caring people from all faiths who wish to offer assistance and companionship to senior adults and any other persons in need. A portion of the volunteer caregivers of Faith In Action is the teens. The young people that are involved have recruited many of their friends. During the holiday time, the youth met and made decorations for the seniors in their area as well as baking cookies and singing carols.

The Faith In Action program was created in recognition of the need for doing simple things in the community. Small things, like preparing meals, mowing lawns or grocery shopping make a big difference in the lives of the seniors. All of the people involved in the program are volunteers: young and old, rich and poor. The characteristic that unifies them is their sense of community. Currently, the program has sponsored retirees. They make calls for reassurance to those who are homebound, run errands and mentor children in the evenings. Once the volunteer spirit of Faith In Action touches the seniors, some of them become volunteers themselves. One of the seniors had volunteers helping with her grocery shopping because she has limited sight. She, in turn, makes calls to seniors who are homebound.

The emphasis on a commitment of personal time is what makes this program so unique. That commitment is what has caused the program to succeed. Faith In Action is part of the National Federation of Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, and the program is based in Monticello, Illinois. Volunteers are recruited through churches of all denominations in the county. Today, more than 140 people have assisted in excess of 120 members of their community through the Faith In Action program.