Updated: Apr 5

Richard is a resident at Hospitality House and a very special one at that. His optimistic outlook and gratitude to everyone who walks through those doors is something we shouldn't take for granted.

There are people who make new places feel so welcoming just by the small acts that they do. Richard is one of these people. He has made over 5,000 beaded necklaces for different volunteers, residents and visitors who come to Hospitality House.

Richard knows everyone, so when new faces show up he makes sure that they get a necklace, no matter who it is. Richard walks around with the handmade necklaces around his hat, prepared to give them away. Richard is the type of person that is very positive and optimistic. Even though I don’t know Richard’s situation that led him to being a resident at Hospitality House and the experiences he has gone through, I see his overwhelming joy, gratefulness and giving nature as a person.

When Richard gave me my necklace, I hung it on my bedpost. I chose to put it there so I could see it every day. The necklaces are so very bright and colorful, so each day when I see my necklace it reminds me to have an optimistic outlook on whatever I am going through and to look for the positive in every situation. You can see these necklaces all around Hospitality House, and when I run into other volunteers and I see a necklace, it reminds me that everyone has a different story and everyone deserves to be loved.

It reminds me to have an optimistic outlook on life. The way Richard makes you feel welcome is not only by giving you a necklace, he also makes sure to have a conversation with you about what he does at Hospitality House. He gives each person who helps or gives of their time one of his beaded necklaces to let them know that what they are doing is making an impact and that it matters. Not only that, but he resembles Santa Claus, so for Christmas he dresses up for the children to make them feel full of joy and at home and welcome within the community, allowing them to feel like a kid in such difficult and hard times.

Richard is the type of person who without a doubt, will brighten your day. But Richard isn’t alone, everyone at Hospitality House is so grateful that you are here to volunteer and give of your time.

Volunteering here has helped me to become a better person by learning lessons from those that I served and interacted with during my time. We have so much to be grateful for in life. We need to look at every day with open, optimistic, eyes because every day offers new encounters. If we don’t open our eyes we will miss these valuable experiences, like the ones I had at Hospitality House.

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Hospitality House, a regional nonprofit transitional living facility and crisis assistance resource center, serves seven rural North Carolina counties (Watauga, Wilkes, Ashe, Avery, Alleghany, Mitchell, and Yancey) providing housing, prevention, and nutrition. Since 1984, the mission of Hospitality House has been to rebuild lives and strengthen community by providing a safe, nurturing, healthy environment in which individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty-related crises are equipped to become self-sufficient and productive. Federal Tax ID 56-1442966.

Non-Discrimination Policy: Hospitality House does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, class, income status, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients. As an intern you are expected to represent the Hospitality House and adhere to our Non-Discrimination Policy. 

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