“Not only do I get to see them succeed, but I also learn from them in the process.”
Natalia Li takes time out of her busy schedule to fulfill not one, but two volunteer roles at Calvary Women’s Services. She got started volunteering with us by leading Calvary’s financial empowerment course, ChangePurse Strategies.
Her connection to Calvary was facilitated through her membership in Women in Housing and Finance, an organization that promotes and supports the professional growth of women in housing, finance, and development. The ChangePurse Strategies course is part of our life-skills, education, and arts program (LEAP).
Inspired by her experiences as an education program facilitator, she decided to sign up to be an overnight volunteer as well. We recently spoke with Natalia about her rewarding volunteer journey at Calvary, and why she thinks the financial literacy class is so important.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I collect public transit tickets/passes from every place that I travel to, and keep them as souvenirs!
Why do you volunteer with Calvary?
Calvary is a very inclusive place and I am lucky to be a part of an organization that does such a great job with helping women overcome challenges that they are facing and get back on their feet. I am inspired by the wonderful women I meet at Calvary, and I admire their dedication and perseverance under the most challenging circumstances.
Why do you think the ChangePurse Strategies sessions are important for women?
Our financial system with its alphabet soup of acronyms appears intimidating at first, and I love to see women empowering themselves to navigate it with more confidence. I am very excited about helping women sharpen their personal finance skills and become savvier navigating the ever-changing personal finance landscape.
As the women at Calvary come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, they have also taught me a great deal about their money management techniques, so not only do I get to see them succeed, but I also learn from them in the process.
What has surprised you most about volunteering with Calvary?
As an Overnight Volunteer on Friday nights, I learned that Calvary never sleeps! The busy women at Calvary have a variety of work schedules, including evening and night shifts, so there is always some activity (and company) in the main room.
What would you tell someone interested in getting involved at Calvary?
Why haven’t you signed up yet – get on it! In all seriousness, being involved at Calvary is not only deeply rewarding on a personal level, but also is an opportunity for development through learning more about those around you, and yourself as well!