As we work among people experiencing poverty and homelessness, we have discovered an unusually powerful component that has become one of the foundations of our outreach – volunteers.
It never ceases to amaze me how people will leave the warmth and comfort of their homes and families and brave all elements to ensure that the relationships they have established with their friends on the streets or at one of our drop in programs, are maintained and strengthened. Truly amazing.
Our street friends notice! They are students of human behavior. They watch people all day, and can quickly tell the difference between an imitation and the real thing. Volunteers are in this latter category. If there were such a thing, our street friends would each qualify for an honorary Ph.D. degree in the study of human behavior. They know when someone is ‘out to help’ for selfish, personal reasons or because they genuinely care. This is the power of a volunteer.
We have our Urban Intervention Training program three times a year, and a volunteer social typically occurs at the conclusion of these training sessions. It gives the new volunteers an opportunity to meet with people who are experienced in the area, and it also provides increased opportunities to meet new people with similar interests.
Tonight was great. Our BBQ social was a great success. People were talking and laughing while meeting new friends and hearing our stories. The food was great, but the friendships – ah- that’s the thing.
We model genuine transparent relationships with each other and then take it to the streets. Seasoned volunteers, new graduates, staff and work skills participants all pulling together to move this mountain called ‘homelessness’, and making a difference – one person at a time.
Ever wanted to be a part of a group that together was doing something so much bigger than any of us could do alone? Come and join our team of volunteers. You can make a difference!