Updated: Jul 26, 2019
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
1. Friendship- You meet some of the most amazing people at the Hospitality House. I have never met a group of more accepting people. My favorite thing to do is to talk to residents. I love to get to know each and every one of them. I have had some of the most meaningful conversations with residents that have changed my life. Each friendship is special because everyone is so different and you have different things in common with each resident. I have learn from each of them and grow as a person with each and every conversation that occurs.
2. Free Food- When I first started, I was little skeptical of the food, but it is really good. In fact I have eaten some pretty amazing meals that are far beyond my ability to make in the kitchen. Sharing a meal with residents, is truly one of the most humbling experiences of my life. It doesn’t matter what they are serving, it is about the conversation, about finding out what is new in each person’s life. Plus, there are so many “gentleman” who won’t let a lady get her own chair or take her tray to the trash by herself.
3. No two days are the same- From celebrating someone meeting their goal to finding someone asleep in the closet, your day will always be full of surprises. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone celebrate these small victories. They even may add a little laugh to your day. Just when you think you have seen and heard it all, someone surprises you!
4. So many different things to do- There are so many opportunities to get involved from cooking to gardening to working the front desk. There is something for everyone any time of day, since we are a 24 hour shelter.
5. Connecting with your community- You get to meet all kinds of people from the community. From the residents to other volunteers to the police to local churches. It truly takes an army to run this place.
6. Appreciation- I never realized it until I started volunteering that when I reach for my toothbrush, it is there. I open the door to my closet and I have something to wear. Until someone has to ask you for a new toothbrush or to run up to the attic to get them a pair of socks, you don’t realize how many things you take for granted. Some people have to ask for their basic needs on a daily basis.
7. It’s fun- I found myself bored over spring break. My first thought was wondering what was happening at the Hospitality House. I truly miss this place when I am away. Maybe it is because there is never a dull moment.
8. Amazing Staff- Without the amazing staff at the Hospitality House, the place won’t run. They are able to assist everyone with any need, make anyone laugh, and handle every situation with grace... even on the toughest days. They support each other through every situation which is just one of the many things I admire about their work ethic. It is more than a community shelter, it is a family.