Volunteer Spotlight: Grace Hansen

Grace Hansen started volunteering at Calvary in December 2013 and has logged an amazing 230 hours of volunteer service since then! She faithfully volunteers for overnight shifts almost every Monday night and has become a familiar face to staff and residents alike. Calvary staff note that “Grace is always on time, consistent and open to learning. She engages with the residents and takes initiative in a gentle way.” Thank you, Grace, for the energy and consistency that you bring to your overnight volunteer shifts. It is nearly impossible to imagine the last year of overnight coverage without you!

Where are you from?
I’m from Portsmouth, VA.

Share a fun fact about yourself!
Some of the residents already know this, but I’m a really good knitter! I’ve mastered hats and made a few sweaters. I’m learning to make clothes as well.

How are you involved at Calvary Women’s Services?
I’ve been an overnight volunteer for eight months now. I love coming to my shift at Calvary – everyone is so warm and welcoming.

How did you first hear about Calvary?
I just did a Google search for shelters in need of volunteers and Calvary popped up! I like that Calvary is specifically for women, and that it focuses on helping women regain economic independence instead of just providing them shelter for a night or two.

Why do you volunteer at Calvary?
When I moved to D.C., I was struck by the degree of economic inequality that is visible in the District. Opportunities for financial security and stability are unfairly distributed in our community. I want to be part of the solution to this problem, so I spend some of my time at Calvary, where women are building a brighter future.

What do you like best about your work with Calvary?
Hanging out with the ladies in the evenings is my favorite part of a shift. Whether it’s watching Law & Order, playing Uno or just chatting, it’s always a relaxing, pleasant time.

What has been your most memorable experience at Calvary?
Overnights during all the snow days this past winter, with everyone crowding around the TV, seeing if the news station would announce a snow day, and whether we would be going to work or not!

What has surprised you most about volunteering at Calvary?
The sense of mutual support and community that you feel at Calvary is continually inspiring. Everyone is from different places and some of the residents have had difficult periods in life, but people treat each other with such gentleness and kindness.

What would you tell someone considering getting involved at Calvary?
I would tell them to do it and not let the commitment of an overnight shift deter you. With the help of a Calvary staff member, it’s no problem. You’ll have a great time!

If you had to choose one word to describe Calvary, what would it be?
Welcoming!

Overnight volunteers like Grace 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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