Search & Rescue volunteers driven by love

Collin Thompson - October 30 2017

Homelessness, Volunteering

Search & Rescue volunteers driven by love

“This is what keeps me going when things are hard and discouraging.” 

Earlier this month, I went out on Search & Rescue for the first time since becoming the Volunteer Engagement Coordinator. While I was out, I realized just how many high impact volunteers serve here at the Mission.

People like Wes — he shows up every Wednesday morning to serve breakfast at the Men’s Shelter, and every Monday to go out on Search & Rescue. You can see him start to “work the room” on every stop, remembering little details about each person’s story from the last time he saw them. People gravitate toward him, and for good reason. You can tell he genuinely cares about them.

People like Joani — With friends in town to celebrate her 70th birthday she wanted to share with them the experience of being a part of the Search & Rescue ministry. Those four ladies lit up a room, intently noticing each person that came to the van and making sure they were taken care of.

People like Mike — He’s getting ready to pack his life into two suitcases and move halfway across the world, but he said he just had to go out on Search & Rescue one last time before he left, giving away his own belongings along the way.

I’m realizing more and more that our ministry is full of stories so complex we’re only scratching the surface every day. But I’ll tell you what, they are stories seasoned with hopes and dreams, some new names and other familiar faces; stories of what’s been lost and found; stories of hope and healing and how we’re all still finding our way.

Driving home that night, I couldn’t help but think over and over again, “This is why I do what I do. This is what keep me going when things are hard and discouraging.” To think that God is working in all of our stories, molding us and shaping us and bringing our stories together to further the kingdom.

Share your volunteer story. Get in touch with Collin — cthompson@ugm.org or (206) 723-0767.

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