In celebration of National Volunteer Week (#NVW2015) we are highlighting the efforts and stories of our AWESOME Furniture Bank Volunteers. In this post, we sat down with Christine – a Client Services volunteer, to find out why she volunteers at Furniture Bank and the personal impact her experience has had on her life.
How did you first hear about Furniture Bank?
I was looking for volunteer opportunities and found Furniture Bank on a surfing spree and decided to see what it was about.
What were your first impressions when you came in for your first volunteer day at Furniture Bank?
My first impression was what a calm and inviting place. My arrival was greeted with a cheerful good morning. The required duties were clearly stipulated and I was able to “shadow” a phenomenal volunteer (Deena) who was exceptional with the clients, explained the whole process as we went along and patiently answered all my questions.
What has been the impact on you personally from volunteering at Furniture Bank?
It is humbling but satisfying and it has encouraged me to consider a possible career change. Volunteering at the Furniture Bank has had a very deep impact on me. I have volunteered in numerous organizations and tended to stick to what I am most familiar with; this opportunity has boosted my confidence regarding personal diversity and adaptability. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and I’ve grown so much because of it. I know that what I do makes a difference, I am meeting new people, and I am giving back to a society that has given to me. It is revitalizing and rejuvenating.
What makes Furniture Bank a unique place to volunteer at?
To me volunteering at the furniture bank is unique because I feel it personally. YOU meet the client. YOU guide them through a process. YOU offer suggestions. YOU give them a choice. YOU make an impression and have an impact on someone. You make THEM matter and feel validated. It is hands on and personal, not just a voice on the phone or a finger pointing in a direction. You make a connection, no matter how small, with everyone you have contact with.
What keeps you coming back to volunteer week after week?
Simple, I enjoy coming. There is a very positive energy and vibe that emanates every time I walk through the door. I feel welcomed and valued when I’m there. There are a wonderful great group of people that work and volunteer there; I want to be one of them. I like participating in the environment the Furniture Bank has created and being part of a team that makes such a difference to the clients that come, and the community as a whole.
Have you learned anything new about yourself or others as a result of volunteering at Furniture Bank?
Yes I most definitely did. I had always considered myself a wall flower, you know a behind the scene type. I have always had a strong desire to make a difference in the community and society but I thought I was best suited to the back of the office type and not a front line personality. I’ve learned that, although at times frustrating, I am completely comfortable dealing with people on the front line. I enjoy interacting with, relating to and contributing to whichever individual I’m working with. I enjoy seeing the delight in their eyes when something amazing catches their eye.
Want to get involved? Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities at Furniture Bank.