Volunteer Spotlight: Kelsey Cohen
This month, we’re excited to introduce Kelsey Cohen, who has volunteered with Calvary since December 2015. We absolutely love volunteers who get involved beyond their one volunteer role – and Kelsey is one of them. Aside from her monthly shifts, she’s gearing up to volunteer at her second Hope Awards Dinner, ran her own fundraising page and raised $600 for Giving Tuesday last year, attends many Calvary events, and generally gets involved in multiple ways. It is clear that Kelsey cares deeply about Calvary and the women she meets here, and is a true ambassador for our work in the community.
Learn more about Kelsey here:
Where are you from?
Share a fun fact about yourself!
I’ve flown around the world in 17 days.
How are you involved at Calvary Women’s Services?
I’m an overnight volunteer.
How did you first hear about Calvary?
I did an online search for volunteer opportunities at women’s shelters in DC, and I came across Calvary. It was so easy to get involved – even as someone who has the time restrictions of a 9-5 job.
Why do you volunteer at Calvary?
Living and working in a major city, you encounter people each day that are dealing with homelessness. I wanted to find another way that I could be there for the people in my community that are homeless, beyond giving a few loose coins or dollars to those that I passed.
Since I started volunteering at Calvary, I’ve attended many events where women have spoken about their own experiences. It made me realize that anyone can find themselves in that difficult position one day, and that everyone deserves a place like Calvary to call “home” as they work toward finding permanent housing.
What do you like best about your work with Calvary?
Knowing that I am supporting an organization that acknowledges and supports the full range of needs of the people it serves. Calvary is committed to providing holistic services to women that are homeless in our community – from counseling to education to job placement. It truly is an honor to support this organization that is so deeply dedicated to addressing the root causes of homelessness, and that offers its residents all of the resources that they need to transform their lives.
What has been your most memorable experience at Calvary?
My most memorable experience was seeing one of the women that I recognized from my overnight shifts speak at a Calvary event about her experience – the strides that she has made in finding meaningful, full-time employment, and ultimately moving into her own home. I recognized this woman – someone who always brought a bright, positive energy to my volunteer hours – and I swelled with tears of happiness to hear about the ways that Calvary supported her as she changed her life for the better.
What has surprised you most about volunteering at Calvary?
One thing that stands out that I did not expect is the connection that I’ve felt with so many of the staff members at Calvary – they truly make you feel so welcomed and appreciated!
What would you tell someone considering getting involved at Calvary?
I would tell them about all of the different ways to get involved at Calvary. Calvary does such a wonderful job of pulling our community in and providing so many different opportunities to contribute. Overnights, meal prep, LEAP education, fundraising – there truly is something for everyone who wants to lend their time or make a donation.
If you had to choose one word to describe Calvary, what would it be?