The Volunteer Way, Inc. (TVW) is exactly what America is all about; a group of dedicated humanitarians volunteering to help those that are less fortunate in their communities. Started in 1997, TVW are people helping people the volunteer way. TVW’s warehouse distributed 5,000,000 pounds of food free of any cost in the year 2005 to food pantries, food banks, women’s shelter, homeless shelter, soup kitchens, Hospice, Teen Challenge, Down’s syndrome residential program and low-income residents. TVW assists approximately 15,000 nutritionally challenged families each month. TVW promote volunteerism throughout Florida.
The warehouse also donates new clothing, shoes, toiletries, diapers, depends, personal items, toys and much more. The Volunteer Way’s goal is to meet the needs of people caught in poverty and to help lift them out of poverty and get them back in the main stream of society with dignity and hope. We believe that all people should strive to be the most they can be and we try to give them that hand up not that hand out. We have found that if we give people a hand out, it only make them dependent on us to help them the rest of their lives. With a hand up we teach them to take pride in themselves and work and support themselves and their families. For those that can not help themselves because of handicap or because their age, we believe they should have the opportunity to live with dignity and respect and to have the most basic things of life.
TVW’s Brown Bag program delivers 40-60 pounds of food to low-income homebound elderly every third week of each month which is when our seniors run out of money to buy food. While delivering this food, we have found that many of our seniors that are disabled, they can not clean their homes. We usually send out a cleaning crew once a month to clean their homes. We also visit with our senior participants because they tend to isolate and feel lonely.
The Street Gang program and Our Little Angel program are examples of other successful programs. The Street Gang program partners with the local Sheriff’s office by donating bags of non-perishable food for the deputies to carry in their patrol cars. When the deputies come across a homeless person or other low-income people the deputy give them a bag of food and personal items. With the Our Little Angel Program, providers of mentally challenged people bring their clients to our location to learn life skills. We have them make boxes of food for the nutritionally challenged, learn CPR, learn to clean and much more.