Each of the Friends programs are designed to generate independent community support for their mission.

The printing program, titled Delta Communications, offers printing for area churches, neighborhood associations, and non-profit agencies – with students donating their labor. While there are services students cannot offer, such as large runs (over 10,000 copies), Delta helps more than 300 groups produce newsletters, booklets, tickets, and specialty items. The agency offers mailing services to meet current requirements.

Cooperative Trading offers nonperishable foods such as coffee, tea, cocoa & chocolate, rice, and soup mixes. Students working here learn the FDA requirements to package and label high-quality foods grown by small farmers who are paid a “fair trade” price.

The Ethnic Directory project has identified more than 80 different cultural groups residing in the Fort Wayne area who offer social or business services of an ethnic nature through more than 700 local businesses or agencies.

An essential part of the training program is to create an Individual Training Plan (ITP) to chart progress and identify barriers to self-sufficiency. A recent addition to this process has been computer stations and printers to enable trainees to apply for access assistance programs and seek employment. The V-CAN program fits well here.

Friends work experience over the years has involved at least 3,000 individuals on a one-to-one basis. While many students experience complex social and physical limitations to self-sufficiency, we’ve found that most do progress when they feel a sense of hopefulness and possibility.

Hope is best achieved when agencies and individuals work as partners. As we partner with our neediest neighbors, our community becomes healthier for all our citizens.

One partner has stated, “What the poor need is not another case worker, but a co-worker; not a hand-out but a hand-up.”

To learn more call 260-422-6821 to find time and positions for training.