One of our Eye Care Group employees, Kaela Grooms, has spearheaded an effort to collect canned and non-perishable food items in our Jackson office for Regional Inter-Faith Association (RIFA). RIFA is a “Christian nonprofit organization that feeds, clothes, and trains people in need by combining life-changing resources from area churches, businesses, and individuals to show Christ’s love in action every day of the year”. RIFA provides hot meals daily to over 150 residents from all over West Tennessee, free of charge. They also include worship and Bible study with each meal.
We began our food drive on November 1, 2016, and we will continue collections until December 22, 2016. For every person who donates 5 items or more, a raffle ticket will be given to enter them into a drawing to win a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that are customized with their prescription.
RIFA serves as a central food distribution center for other nonprofits in the Jackson-Madison County area. These nonprofit organizations provide for individuals through their programs, shelters, food pantries, etc. Through food industry donations and community food drives, food contributions come to RIFA to help meet area needs. The RIFA Food Bank warehouses the food, and with the help from volunteers, items are sorted, packed, and redistributed to partnering agencies. Each year, RIFA assists 37 nonprofits in 7 counties, distributing over 140,000 pounds of food.
In addition to their Food Bank, RIFA provides community outreach through their program to tutor children. This program, Club 4:12, is based on the scripture passage 1 Timothy 4:12. RIFA’s Club 4:12 offers an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for children in Kindergarten through 5th grade, which meets during the school year at Lambuth Memorial United Methodist Church here in Jackson, TN.
The doctors here at The Eye Care Group are very proud of our employees who have helped with these extra efforts through personal donations and their time spent gathering supplies and asking patients for donations to help show support in our community. We see so much need for such services in our own community, and we are thankful that we are able to help RIFA continue their mission.