MLK Day of Service: Volunteers’ Reflections
(Pictured: Grace Riley, Lyndsey Marchman, Dawnette Hurley, Anthony Haro)
On MLK Day, volunteers across the country come together for a day of service, picking up the baton handed to them by past generations and carrying forward their efforts. This year, AmeriCorps members from Trident United Way volunteered on their day of service at One80 Place for the Point-In- Time Count. Throughout the day, the volunteers were able to speak to and survey over 60 people experiencing homelessness. The AmeriCorps members were able to challenge themselves by taking the time to meet with people who are in need of support and engage in an opportunity that otherwise would been overlooked. Here are a few reflections about their experience and how their day went.
My MLK Day of Service goes beyond words of expression!! I am so happy that I had the opportunity to serve at One 80 Place. Anthony Haro, Director of the Homeless Coalition, is a testament to the compassion he has for others. While our tasks of completing surveys were simple, our clients did not want to be judged and this was completely understandable. Many were very hesitant, but our approach of engagement made them feel welcomed. I want to thank my co-members, Grace and Lyndsey for joining me. The art of being a “servant” was heartfelt and appreciated by each person encountered. The numerous stories that were shared gives me a greater perspective to humankind and the journeys each of us must take, both good and bad. Overall, hope and love are keys to sharing and providing for those who are in need.Grace Riley
My experience of volunteering with the PIT Count is one that was powerful and unforgettable. I had a phenomenal time working alongside Anthony Haro and my AmeriCorps teammates! Encountering so many individuals from varying paths of life shined some light on the common misconceptions we, including myself, often may hold in regard to individuals who experience homelessness. I had the privilege to speak with several individuals on a more personal level, upon them allowing the “barrier of distrust” to come down. They opened up and allowed me to take a trip with them through an average day in their lives. Although I intended to be the one encouraging them for the most part, the roles had somewhat reversed. Their testimonies and commitment to persevering through it all truly encouraged me!Dawnette Hurley