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A Volunteer’s Perspective

playing cards

playing cards
Like many others, I did, in all honesty have pre-judged notions about the homeless. However, I felt a calling to find out more. I wanted to help in whatever way I could. I signed up for training to be an intake volunteer and I committed to work one night a week during the 2015-2016 Cold Weather season. My first night I arrived a little early anxious to get started. I was nervous and a little unsure if I was up to the challenge. To say I was feeling pretty shaky is an understatement. Then the doors opened and the guests began to arrive. There was no turning back for me now. One by one I began to register the guests. After awhile it became second nature to me and I began to relax. Once everyone was settled in I ventured into the community room where there was a beehive of socializing. Some guests were playing cards or cribbage, some were working on crosswords or reading a magazine. I looked around at all of them gathered there. I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and respect for all of them. I began to see the goodness, strength and courage in them. I went home that night knowing that I was blessed by knowing these beautiful people. What a gift I was given that first night! Sure, they are perhaps a little ragged around the edges and some act rough and tough, but inside that rough exterior is a living, breathing human being who has value just like the rest of us. I have just finished being an intake volunteer for the 2016-2017 Cold Weather season. This season I worked two nights a week. Will I be back next season? You bet I will!
Lucy Ahern

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