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Making An Impact In Our Rural Communities

By: Erin Ressegieu- Mobile Resource Bus Specialist 

The Mobile Resource Program is unique compared to our other programs because it is not stationary. We travel to different counties each week, and each one is different in demographics, community dynamics, and the needs of the people we serve.

We establish our roots in each of these counties, which helps us continue to make a sustainable impact. We also connect with our community partners who have a vital role in the communities we serve.

Just like some of the best stories, one of my favorite town visits happened by chance and a little curiosity. While we were at one of our outreach locations, a volunteer in Osage county expressed concern about a neighboring town that had been impacted by COVID.

After a little bit of searching, I connected with Quenemo’s “community partner.” This partner happened to be a neighbor in the community that took it upon himself to help this town get back on its feet. This created a beautiful partnership. It started at this neighbor’s house where we dropped off kids’ coats and 16 bags of food.

Over the months, we have seen this town grow and tailor our support to what their community needed to create a lasting foundation. The needs of the families can shift, and we work hand in hand with community partners to pack whatever we can into our bus to meet that need.

I have taken photos each time documenting our journey. What started with a drop-off of food bags at a helping neighbor’s house, has transformed into coordinating client appointments. During our last visit, we partnered with them at their new food pantry. The pantry was built by neighbors to serve the community, and we were able to help host a back-to-school event for the kids.

Being able to not only watch but to be a part of this community’s growth is so amazing. It’s the fuel that keeps this bus running. Our community partner and resident of Quenemo put it best, “what makes it feel personal is not just an organization helping another organization— it’s the people helping people, and that’s where the heart is.”

The Mobile Resource Bus at its heart—is a neighbor to our 15 counties. We are not there daily, but the bus is essential to help build a stronger foundation by ensuring the security of today.

I am so excited about what the next upcoming months hold and what role the Mobile Resource Bus will play in each of these wonderful rural communities.

 

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