It began with a phone call...
I had applied to be a Volunteer Coordinator at the Lafayette Transitional Housing Center. It's a place for the homeless to go to get resources to get back on their feet, including a clothing donation room, food pantry, computers, phone & mail service, showers & day sleeping rooms. The job of volunteer coordinator consisted of becoming the new contact for free-will volunteers at LTHC (as opposed to community service volunteers, which is court-ordered).
I received a phone call, which turned into an interview, which became a job! :D Praise God!! I didn't know what to expect of this job, but on the interview I told them that I would help them recreate their volunteer system and anything else they needed me to do. That was so crazy to me, but I do believe that God wanted me to have this job. What I wanted was to work in non-profit AND a paycheck!
Little did I know that God had other plans for me. The last week of winter break consisted of many phone calls, some to Purdue's financial aid office for both work-study funds and to verify my parent's tuition loan. God's plan came into view when the tuition loan went through before the work-study funds did. Inadvertently, because I had tuition fully paid for, I was no longer eligible for work-study. So my position as Volunteer Coordinator immediately became Volunteer Volunteer Coordinator (as my boss would put it with a laugh).
At first, I was a little bummed (no paycheck) but I haven't volunteered to do anything in years. I'd been putting it off for so long that God had me volunteer unknowingly.
It's definitely a learning experience. Here I have been using my time as if it were my own! Ha! It definitely should belong to God so now I'm giving back.
My first day was the hardest but silently beautiful at the same time.
A man came in, said he was hurting and needed to get some food from the pantry. My supervisor told him that the pantry was closed for the day but would let him in this time. Since I'm learning what each volunteer position is about, my supervisor asked me to help him. I helped him shop for food for his family, as well as bagged his groceries. It broke my heart the whole time and I just wanted to help so much more. I understand now how it feels to volunteer and want to give your everything to one person, again and again. Because it happened again. And it would happen again. I wanted every person that walked in there to know that they're loved, by a God who knows their struggles, even if they don't understand the struggle. I wanted to give the little money I have to help.
God reveals Himself in so many people in so many ways. I'm blessed to have this volunteer job and I can't wait to share with you as I learn new things along the way.
Until we meet again!