THS has recently partnered with Serving Together, a group of established service providers that work with in-need veterans to provide food, mental health services, housing, and any emergency services and support. As the number of grocery deliveries are declining, THS wanted to continue its work in supporting food deliveries and senior support in the community through partnerships. Wootton High School student Shuayb Oweis is the liaison of this partnership with Serving Together. Oweis learned about THS through his mom and began helping with deliveries, becoming more inspired by THS’ work over time and eventually becoming the liaison.
This new partnership sets up THS as a middle ground between Serving Together and the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) food supply. “We receive the list of veterans from Serving Together and tell the MCPS food supply how many boxes we need,” Oweis explained. “We get volunteers to do deliveries, sometimes multiple for a volunteer, and preferably repeat volunteers for veterans.” One volunteer will pick up the boxes and organize a central pickup location for the other volunteers to pick up their boxes and then they will conduct deliveries.
“Leading this partnership has been an exciting experience,” Oweis said. “The work is fast paced and demanding, and I usually am responding to emails hourly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays — the busiest days.”
THS’ work with Serving Together is one of several emerging partnerships the organization has committed to during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other growing examples include THS’ partnerships with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to provide services to patients with dementia, with the Village to Village network to provide services locally to neighborhoods with senior populations in DC and Bethesda, MD, and with the ElderSAFE Center at the Charles E. Smith Life Communities to spread awareness on warning signs of elder abuse as social distancing continues to be implemented.
For Oweis, as he continues his work helping with partnerships with community organizations, he finds that “each week the deliveries go smoother” and he continues to learn more about serving and engaging with his community.