During the season our shelter staff and volunteers have an inside view of what our guests face everyday being homeless. Here are some of the stories and reasons they are so dedicated to helping the most vulnerable in our community.
"Being a Servant Leader is a philosophy that I subscribe to, and in my role as the CEO of an organization, I believe that giving back to my community is so very important. I serve on various Boards throughout my Community, yet the Day by Day Warming Shelter is where you might find me truly giving back to my community over and over and over again.
Season 9 was my first year volunteering at the Warming Shelter. I was hooked from the start. I truly enjoy listening to the guests talking about their life stories, helping the guests, and being on the receiving end of grateful praise for giving of my time to help the guests when they need it most. I try to volunteer at least once a month, and seem to always be there an extra day or two because I just can’t say no to an open volunteer spot! Taking the time to truly get to know the guests is something I enjoy doing as well. That way they aren’t just a name or a number, they are truly a person. Additionally, the role of the volunteer is very rewarding, you truly make it what you want it to be. I enjoy deep cleaning and organizing, so you might find me organizing the refrigerator or the laundry room when time allows.
The Day by Day Warming Shelter is a Shelter that accepts individuals without regard to their past criminal history. Some of our community’s most vulnerable individuals look to the Shelter for a safe place to sleep, because no where else will take them. The Shelter is so much more than just a place for 25 people to get a meal and be out of the elements. It is a safe place to connect with caring people (volunteers and employees), do job searches, find resources, etc.
God led me to this opportunity for a reason, and I enjoy each opportunity and interaction I have experienced. I continue to give to the Shelter not only of my time and talents but through meals and other donation opportunities as well. I am looking forward to Season 10!"
"I was introduced to the shelter by a former Executive Director. I wasn't sure what volunteering at the shelter was all about but after three seasons I would encourage anyone to give it a try. The guests are kind and appreciative of the smallest gesture you perform to help them through the night. It gives me a sense of pride that for a few hours I can try to be a light in someone's day. I have helped a few guests prepare a resume and when you realize the rich lives they had before hard times struck, it opens your eyes on how truly blessed you are. I'm reminded of a movie with Jim Carey. At the end of the movie, the people he helped were angels. You never know who you help today may just be an angel in disguise. " -Pat Kufel Ebben
Why would someone volunteer at a homeless shelter?
"Here is a quick simple answer. I try to fill my day with productive activity. Most of the time is filled with activities that one needs to complete to live independently and productively BUT there are a few hours that can be spent affecting the lives of others. These “others” are experiencing unfortunate circumstances that can happen to anyone. So for those few hours I provide energy to complete simple tasks. In return I feel the appreciation of guests and staff. This is a nice gift for offering a little time and energy necessary for the program to meet the needs of deserving people. It’s simple!" -Bridget Caflisch
“It is hard to explain exactly why I volunteer at the Warming Shelter. There was a time in my working life when I worked the overnight shift at a hospital. I had a lot of time to listen to a radio program, the Pacific Garden Mission, which dramatized peoples' lives that were helped through this homeless shelter in Chicago. After listening to a lot of these stories I have felt a "calling" to help in any way I could in a shelter environment. Volunteering has always made me feel better after the volunteer opportunity has occurred. This feeling has always far over-weighed the effort put into it. I highly recommend it to EVERYBODY!” -Dale Prey
"Our family has been involved, in some capacity, with the shelter since its inception. We firmly believe in the mission of not only providing food and shelter for those in need, but in supporting those individuals along the path to steady employment, permanent housing, and other personal goals. To spend any time in the shelter is to understand the sense of warmth and community that permeates the space and we feel grateful to be able to contribute to that sense. Providing a warm meal to others is a form of love in our family, a love that we enjoy extending to the guests of the shelter. We look forward to these opportunities to connect with one another and with shelter guests". -Larie/Galica families