How can I possibly sum up an entire year as an AVODAH Fellow working as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter? Is there a way to recap all of the memories, relationships, and learning moments? Instead of trying to put it all together in what would surely be the longest blog post ever, I will simply list a few things that stick out to me:
What I Have Learned
No matter what your own personal situation, you can support someone in need
I learned this from volunteers who, in the middle of their own job searches, took time to give back to the community and help those in greater need. I also learned this from Guests who were incredibly supportive when I was going through transitions in my life.
We can each only do our best and when that isn’t enough, we need to ask for help
I learned this from fellow staff members, who not only made themselves available when I needed help, but came to me when they were in need.
The Guests of LPCS are incredible people who have had a variety of challenges thrown their way. It wasn’t easy for them to come to LPCS for help, and they have made incredible steps just by doing so.
What I Will Remember
Guests coming to me when they needed someone to listen to their stories
Guests coming into my office to let me know that they got a job/apartment or to share whatever good thing happened to them that day
The hundreds of people calling and emailing me each month, wanting to donate their time and resources to those in difficult situations
Joking around with staff, Guests, Grads, and volunteers – this makes you feel like a bigger part of a community
What I Will Take With Me
Hope for the future
There are so many people and organizations working incredibly hard to help those most in need. If we can all help support them in their work, then I think there can be positive changes in the future.
Skills and Knowledge
On a more personal level, my time at LPCS has given me incredible experience that I know could not have been duplicated elsewhere. I am extremely excited about where these new skills will lead me in the future.
I have seen people turn their lives around this year at LPCS.
I have seen staff giving their all every day. I have seen volunteers giving whatever they can to help people they care about. I feel really fortunate to have been a part of this organization and its community, and I look forward to staying involved for many years to come.