Volunteer Spotlight: Ken Sena

Ken Sena is Calvary’s inventory and stock volunteer. He’s been with us for just over a year. He comes once a month to organize and manage the donations that come into Calvary – and that’s no small task, since we get right around $100,000 of in-kind donations each year!

It’s very common for service agencies to get overwhelmed with lots of donations that they store for a long time and never use. But Calvary is very intentional about only taking the items we need and making sure they go out to the clients – we want to honor the donor’s intent. Ken is a BIG part of the fact that we do this so well.

Aside from that, he is the reason our donations and storage room stays so organized and efficient. He does everything from counting the items we have, to restocking the closets throughout the building to making sure the case managers are stocked up with the items they need.

Additionally, Ken is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people we know. He is flexible and willing to help in any way he can. The whole staff of Calvary is so thankful for him and his dedication to Calvary!

Learn more about Ken below:

Where are you from?

I live in Washington, DC but I’m originally from Massachusetts.

Share a fun fact about yourself!

I collect fortune cookie fortunes.

How are you involved at Calvary Women’s Services?

I am the inventory and stock volunteer.

How did you first hear about Calvary?

Through the website VolunteerMatch.

Why do you volunteer at Calvary?

I volunteer at Calvary because I read Matthew Desmond’s book “Evicted,” an ethnography based on his many years of field work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that focused on the social and legal forces associated with the renting and eviction process and how it contributes to an endless cycle of poverty in the United States. I realized that while I can’t solve every systemic issue, I can do my part to help make the world a little more equitable, even if it’s just helping keep Calvary’s donations organized and sorted.

What do you like best about your work with Calvary?

It’s quiet and out of sight. As a male volunteering in an organization for female clients I want my physical presence to be as unobtrusive as possible because Calvary’s clients live in a world whose patriarchal structure seeks to devalue them and their challenges. If I want to do my part against that structure, I don’t want to be a reminder of it in any space that also seeks to work against that structure.

What has been your most memorable experience at Calvary?

Every time I volunteer at Calvary is memorable in its own way.

What has surprised you most about volunteering at Calvary?

That the challenges facing homeless and at-risk community members are extremely multifaceted and interconnected. Calvary Women’s Services doesn’t just provide a space to meet basic needs; Calvary also provides help navigating the available byzantine and increasingly bureaucratic social safety net programs; Calvary also provides classes and information sessions for life skills that should be readily available to learn in every ward of city; and Calvary also provides moral and emotional support to stay empowered and striving.

What would you tell someone considering getting involved at Calvary?

Get involved today, don’t wait. The struggles and challenges facing the homeless and at-risk communities in our nation’s capital and beyond are continuous and need your help today, in whatever capacity you can offer.

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

Life-changing (I know it’s really two words, but hyphenated words count, right?)

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