Volunteer Spotlight: Sirisha Bonda

Sirisha Bonda (right) with Elaine Johnson, Calvary’s Senior Manager of Education & Programs

Sirisha Bonda was introduced to Calvary through her fellowship with Service Never Sleeps (SNS), a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals and communities to catalyze social justice through service and allyship.

As part of the fellowship, SNS places young professionals with host nonprofit organizations where they provide a year of part-time service. Based on her skill-set and interests, we are so glad that Sirisha was placed at Calvary Women’s Services!

What is your volunteer role at Calvary?

I serve as an overnight volunteer where I provide safety, companionship, and support to the women living at Calvary.

I also volunteer as a curriculum aid for Calvary’s Life Skills, Education, and Arts Program (LEAP). This role entails creating eight unified lesson plans for the use of the LEAP program in alignment with the needs and interests of Calvary’s residents.

Why did you decide to become a Service Never Sleeps Fellow?

I work in international development where I manage projects that help mitigate social injustices that are at play abroad. However, living in Washington, DC, I wanted to be able to address social injustices in my local community as well. I felt that the SNS fellowship was a unique opportunity to achieve this goal.

Sirish Bonda (left) with SNS Founder & CEO Whitney Parnell (2nd from the left) and SNS supporters Emily Lawyer & Itzbeth Menjivar

What has been your most interesting experience as an overnight volunteer? Did anything surprise you?

On any given night, women at Calvary will congregate in the common room to just relax, watch TV, have a meal, or chat with one another. It serves as a small, but insightful snapshot of what Calvary offers: a strong sense of community. Seeing the simple interactions that the women have in that space has given me a better understanding of their interests and needs.

Have you learned anything unexpected during your time at Calvary?

I think what was most unexpected is how the women at Calvary bring its mission to life. The women are not only empowered to transform their own lives, but they also lift others up through their words and actions. It is truly inspiring.

What are your goals for the LEAP curriculum project?

We all experience stress in our lives. Stress can negatively affect your mood, immune system, ability to think clearly, and more. The LEAP curriculum that I am developing will teach the women easy and fun activities that are shown to help reduce stress as a means to utilize them in their everyday life.

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