Life comes full circle for Chattanooga Area Food Bank volunteer
Fifteen years ago, Kariss Jones and his family were in a crisis situation. They had fallen upon hard times, with no job, and no place to live.
"We had to do something, we were on the verge of living in our car but we had friends and family that helped us. So, we were able to stay in an extended stay," said Jones.
Like many families in need, they turned to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. There, they were able to get a food voucher and provide meals for their family.
Eventually, Kariss found employment with Cigna, and became involved with their annual day of caring, during which employees are encouraged to volunteer. He was assigned to the Food Bank. It had been 15 years since they came to his aid, and as he approached the building, the memories began flowing.
"I just had to pull over and just thank God and shout because it brought back memories of when I was in that situation that they are in now. I shared this story with my co-workers and we just started crying. It's real you know," said Jones.
Kariss's life has changed in 15 years. He and his wife Treva have a teenaged son, and have cared for six foster children. He is thankful for his job at Cigna, and the volunteer opportunities it provides. He has a simple piece of advice for those who are experiencing the tough times he lived through 15 years ago: 'Don't give up.'
"There's plenty of help, you just have to seek it. You can't just depend on someone to come help you, you've gotta open your mouth," said Jones.