Volunteer Spotlight: LaRae

LaRaeMeet LaRae, overnight volunteer extraordinaire! LaRae started volunteering at Calvary this past January and has already logged 350 hours of volunteer time, which makes her one of our most active volunteers of 2013. LaRae’s contribution stretches far beyond hours—she is dependable, consistent, and brings a wonderful spirit with her to Calvary. She’s jumped in to help with training new overnight volunteers and to help spread the word about Calvary on her own college campus.

Thanks to LaRae for all of her hard work and dedication!

How did you first hear about Calvary?
I heard about Calvary when I was an intern for Terps for Change, a service organization at the University of Maryland “committed to connecting the university with the local community through sustained, collaborative, and meaningful community service-learning.” Calvary is a community partner of Terps for Change.

Why do you volunteer at Calvary?
I volunteer because the residents who are in the program are the nicest people I have ever met and I enjoy helping them in any way I can. I also feel that I gain something every time that I volunteer. The experience itself is priceless. The Calvary staff is so welcoming and kind that I feel like I am a part of a community and more than just a volunteer.

What do you like best about your work with Calvary?
I like being able to interact with the women in the program best because I get to interact with such inspiring people who have overcome so much. It is always wonderful to see them complete the program and move onto better things in their lives.

What has been your most memorable experience at Calvary?
The most memorable experience was when one of the residents of the program earned her GED and was able to come back to the shelter with her cap and gown and her graduation cake. She was so happy and everyone was so happy for her. It was nice to see her accomplish such a major goal and to see so much support from those who are part of the program. It was very inspiring.

What has surprised you most about volunteering at Calvary?
The biggest surprise was that I would enjoy it so much. I had previously only applied to volunteer at environmental sites and had never worked at a program like Calvary before. I really have enjoyed it so much and it has been the best volunteer experience I have ever had.

What would you tell someone considering getting involved with Calvary?
They would be doing something to contribute to a cause bigger than themselves. If they volunteer long enough, they will most likely notice changes in how they view things in their own lives since it can truly be a life changing experience. If nothing else, they would feel so welcomed and loved the staff member they work with.

If you had to choose one word to describe Calvary, what would it be?
Amazing.

Overnight volunteers such as LaRae support our staff and residents by supervising our programs from 9:00 pm until 7:00 am every night of the week. If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Calvary, please contact Catherine Bisson at cbisson@calvaryservices.org or (202) 678-2341.

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