I was raised in a Christian church and brought up with a focus on mission work, giving back to those in need. Often when we think of mission trips, we think of youth and adults going abroad to serve people in developing countries. The best part about volunteering with Family Promise of Summit County is it gives me the opportunity to fulfill a mission, here in my own community.
As the coordinator for Fairlawn-West United Church of Christ, I am able to make a significant difference in the lives of the homeless families we serve. My volunteer experience has broadened my understanding of others and introduced me to many wonderful people I might not otherwise have met.
Over the years, one particular family really brought home how close to being homeless we all are. Many families in our community live paycheck to paycheck. This young woman’s story and her reliance on God really spoke to me.
Family Promise’s mission is very important to my congregation as well. About half of our congregants volunteer for the organization. I love that there are all kinds of volunteer options to fit different interests and skill sets, from making meals, to driving the transportation van, to setting up rooms for the families, to mentoring. There is something that everyone can do, and all jobs are important to serve the families int he program and make this mission successful. We are also very grateful for the wonderful volunteers from our fantastic support churches, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Unitarian Universalist, who contribute substantially to the Family Promise mission.
When I’m not volunteering with Family Promise, you can find me working as Office Administrator at Fairlawn-West; in my extensive gardens; or paddling with the Dragon Dream Team, a Breast Cancer Survivor dragon boating team. I am fortunate to have participated in international competitions, most recently in Florence, Italy. While in Florence, our team came in first place for all United States teams and third overall throughout the world. It was an amazing experience. I have also started a YouTube channel reading to young children: Miss Susan’s Garden of Readin’.
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