(1) Tell us a little bit about yourself i.e. your background, career/profession, and volunteer experience.
I am a 12th grade Middle College student studying at De Anza College. As a front desk volunteer at WVCS, I compassionately serve physically, mentally, and language challenged clients of all ages undergoing extreme life situations like homelessness, hunger, and terminal diseases.
(2) How did you find us, when did you start volunteering and why did you choose to volunteer here at WVCS?
When the Guadalupe River overflowed due to the storms in January 2023 and unhoused the already homeless, their plight spurred me to act. This is how I found WVCS, which provided a continuum of basic needs to the homeless. The first of WVCS’s six core values in the fight against homelessness and hunger struck a chord with something I was deeply rooted for: compassion. I began volunteering from March 2023.
(3) What have you learned about yourself volunteering here at WVCS?
Volunteering at WVCS, I unearthed my trait of compassion as my heart was broken from the sufferings of the underserved. I realized the drive within me to reassure and stand by them through my service. With my quality of resourcefulness, I overcame language barriers by using Google Translate to communicate with clients and comfort them.
(4) Any special moments you would like to share about your volunteering experience here at WVCS?
Once I noticed a weak 87-year-old man, who was struggling to walk, standing at the back of the long food ticket line, so I immediately seated him inside. When I brought his ticket to him, his relieved smile melted my heart. With this incident recurring, I discussed it with staff and they have let infirmed and disabled clients remain seated inside while waiting for food tickets.
(5) What has been a particular bright spot for you in the past few weeks?
A client let me know that she was very happy to see me one Friday morning and that I was “sweet like the sugar in tea”, which was really heartwarming to me. A couple of times, there were leftover bread and other food items at the WVCS pantry after the morning shift on Fridays, so I brought some for the workers at the Home Depot parking lot, which they were so excited to receive, making my day. A few weeks ago, I spread word about WVCS in my Middle College classes, from which a student has joined as a new volunteer at WVCS recently. I am truly grateful to be a part of and make a difference at the wonderful and meaningful community of WVCS!