Text by Al Oliver, Executive Director, Visalia Rescue Mission
In Isaiah 6:8, the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord say, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people, who will go for us?” Isaiah’s response was “Here I am, send me!” Isaiah was available, teachable and faithful. All he had to volunteer was himself, his willingness and his time. God supplied everything else that was necessary, and the result was world-changing!
Volunteering to be available, teachable and faithful is a way that you can contribute to life-changing results!
Kayla gives 12 hours of her time each week at the Shelter of Hope. Kayla once stayed at our shelter as a child, and it was a place where she was embraced and loved. It was a time of hope when her family’s situation felt hopeless. After graduating from college, Kayla moved back to Visalia and could not wait to give back. She rolls up her sleeves and helps foster an environment that is a healing place for women and children experiencing homelessness. Not only does Kayla support with the daily tasks at the shelter, but she also shares a message of hope at a nightly chapel service a few times each month. Kayla is thankful for what God did in her life at the Shelter of Hope and is blessed to share her story of hope as a high-impact volunteer.
Linda gives 15 hours of time each week at the community kitchen as a prep cook. Every morning, she gets her exercise by walking at the park near her home. She loves wearing her VRM badge when she goes on her morning walks, and she tells everyone about what she does at the mission. She now has a nickname with her neighborhood and park-going friends. She’s “the mission lady.” Linda also loves to tell people in need about the hot meals that are served at the mission. She met a man at the bus stop who told her that he hadn’t had a meal in three days. She told him about the mission, and she was able to see him later that day in the kitchen to serve him a meal.
Chip gives 20 hours of time each week at the Community Center. Chip spent his career doing strategic planning and process improvements for a large corporation. Before volunteering at Visalia Rescue Mission, Chip served in several ministries. Now that he has retired, he wants to use his God-given gifts and talents at the mission. Although Chip’s focus has a high-level administrative role at the mission, he enjoys building relationships by having lunch with the residents in our Life Change Academy. He loves to offer encouragement as he hears the stories of our residents’ recovery journey.
Sandy gives 12 hours of her time each week at the Shelter of Hope. She was introduced to the ministries of Visalia Rescue Mission by coming for a tour. As Sandy puts it, her “heart’s cry” is for women who have been abused. She has her own redemption story, and she wants to offer the hope of the gospel to women in a similar place in their life. Sandy does the daily check-in for women and families at the shelter, passes out freshly laundered bedding and towels, and anything else that is needed to give these women and children a safe and healing environment. For Sandy, it’s about creating a place where women and children can experience the life-altering love of God.
How about joining us as a high-impact volunteer?