September 18

Looking back at our activity for opening week, I’m really pleased with how well it went! My team

devised a new process to allow us to continue handling phone inquiries and setting up appointments for

services as well as (finally) opening our doors to allow walk-ins to be served without appointments. In

just our first few days, we’ve received over 120 phone inquiries. We’ve made dozens of appointments

and handled several ‘walk-ins’. We do expect to see an increase in walk-ins once the word is spread

through the community, however our guests that had appointments seem to be quite pleased with the

new improved process. I overheard one of them saying “This new process is very nice; it’s much faster!”.

In designing our new process, we had a few goals in mind:

Enhance the experience for the guests and the volunteer staff

Facilitate the flow of guests & services provided

Expedite the appointments while providing more personalized experience

Offer services for walk-ins based on space and staffing availability.

During the 2.5 years of our ‘curb service’, we did help with food, clothes and housewares – but we just

picked them out and packaged them and they were accepted sight unseen. Now that our guests come in

to the interview room, they have an opportunity to see the items we offer and can choose what’s to

their liking.

Our offices look great thanks to the generous donation of furniture we received from PPD. We now have

coordinating chairs in all our spaces and I must say it looks quite professional. Thanks, PPD!

Of course, the main reason for our opening success is the support of my great volunteers – the

volunteers that have been with me since curb service, several new volunteers that have since joined, the

return of volunteers from our pre-covid days and some new support from UNCW students. Thanks to all

of them, we are all happy to be back in the business of helping those in need!