Volunteers are, in a word, LifeMovers.
The volunteers who work with LifeMoves are an integral part of the recipe for success that supports the clients, staff, and community at LifeMoves. Without the support of our LifeMoves volunteers, the quality of life would be very different from and in contrast to the work our organization strives to achieve daily.
Reflecting on life during the pandemic, volunteers stepped up to provide the essentials we needed to support our clients and frontline staff during this challenging time. From sewing masks together to assembling colorful no-sew blankets, youth volunteers dedicated their time and energy to ensuring our clients were not forgotten. One youth-focused group alone created and donated over 5,000 masks! At the same time, our volunteer community embraced the challenge of food insecurity as we pivoted from “provide and serve in-person” meal service to a safety-conscious “provide and drop-off” meal service, expanding our weekend-meals only meal program to serving meals seven days a week. We also dove into virtual volunteering to lean into distance learning to support our children and youth, creating a teen tutoring program spearheaded by our Education Department. Thus far, we have held over ten semesters of productive tutoring sessions, with over 120+ engaged and committed youth volunteers. These pandemic-era volunteer efforts nourished LifeMoves during a prolonged period of uncertainty. More importantly, our volunteer initiatives have led to a renewed volunteer renaissance that continues to exist today.
As our communities have returned to normalcy, LifeMoves volunteers have led the charge in reestablishing our sense of togetherness across our shelters and programs. These efforts are occurring across numerous fronts. LifeMoves celebrated National Volunteer Appreciation Month in April with several large in-person volunteer groups. These groups helped us prepare for the opening of two new LifeMoves shelters and create a welcoming ambiance for our annual Benefit Breakfast. Volunteers engaging with our clients through the Meals Program not only secure healthy, nutritious food but also build (and rebuild) a positive, life-affirming environment, which our clients and staff sorely missed. In our upcoming Summer Adventure Camp, children will regain that carefree sense of discovery and joy. Our youth volunteers will play a vital part in fostering the space needed to rejuvenate social connections.
Looking forward to the next year of volunteering across the organization, I am reenergized and emboldened by the new possibilities and opportunities that await us as united neighbors. We could only do our work with the dedication and compassion of our multi-faceted volunteers.
To be a LifeMoves volunteer means to be devoted to ensuring that our unhoused friends are treated with the dignity and respect everyone deserves. Thank you to all our volunteers for bringing hope and possibilities to each client and staff you meet with your service. We see you, and we thank you again.
Senior Manager Volunteer Programs
Development & Volunteer Associate