Coming together to experience the impact of volunteering
At Catholic Charities’ first-ever “Board of Directors Day of Impact”, members of Catholic Charities’ Board gathered at Dorothy Day Campus for an afternoon of volunteering! Board members assembled fresh linen kits for shelter residents, shadowed program staff, learned how to perform regular volunteering tasks such as facilitating showers for guests at the St. Paul Opportunity Center—and reflected on the impact of volunteering.
Many expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work and learn alongside our committed frontline colleagues, and agreed that the afternoon provided them with important firsthand experience with the work happening in our emergency services programs as we help our neighbors cope with challenging winter months:
Desirae Butler, Norwest Equity Partners — Board Chair
“I can’t take credit for the idea of doing this ‘Board Day of Impact’. One of our long-term board members approached me about this. He has, in his previous life, experienced the services of Catholic Charities as a former client. He felt it was important that the board really sit in our buildings to see, feel, and experience what our guests are going through day-to-day.
As a board, we don’t always witness what’s going on within the walls of the agency. Oftentimes we get the happy stories, the happy endings, but frankly—there isn’t always a happy story to tell. There are challenges and struggles both for our guests and for our staff. That resonated with me today.”
Molly Porter, Wells Fargo — Board Member
“The staff are incredible here—they are so dedicated to what they’re doing. I had a chance to talk with Lauren at the resource desk today, and she was telling me about how, in the last couple of months, she’s transformed the lives of so many people by being able to bring in service providers from around the county and the state that our clients wouldn’t have had access to before.
It’s not every day that we get to come in and be with the people that we serve. Today was a special experience for me, because it really gives you that tangible feeling of being able to offer something directly to someone that they need in their lives. So, it’s one thing to you know, think about a strategic plan, it’s another thing to be able to hand a person a pair of gloves when their hands are cold, or a warm towel to take a shower with. That was an eye-opening experience for me today.”
Lynette Dumalag, JLL — Board Member
“When we work and make decisions from a policy level, sometimes it feels like we don’t have enough context and adjacency to the mission that we’re doing. It’s really important for us as board members to remember and ground ourselves in why we do this. I’m so grateful that we get to be here and do that.”
SO WHAT CAN COMMUNITY MEMBERS DO TO HELP?
Addressing our current homelessness crisis requires all of us working together to:
Support Our Neighbors Currently Experiencing Homelessness
– Contribute financially to programs that provide pathways out of poverty.
– Donate high-need items that help people keep themselves safe & rebuild their lives.
– Volunteer at a program location, using your time to remind others that they matter.
Create Systems that Allow People to More Easily Attain & Sustain Stable Housing
– Help us advocate for a more just community — it’s easier than you’d think to make a difference.
– Learn more about issues surrounding homelessness, and share what you learn with friends and family.
Thank you for your interest — together we can create a better future for all Minnesotans!
Digital Content Manager