By the time you read this, Lynn Figura will have celebrated her first anniversary as Volunteer and Events Manager at the Open Door Mission. If her enthusiasm and passion for her work is any indication, she will have many more!
“I love our guests and residents,” Lynn says. “They’re why I’m here. They want to heal and grow. That desire, along with the resources we can offer them, changes lives. As a volunteer, being part of helping people grow is one of the most meaningful things we can do.”
There is any number of opportunities to serve at Open Door, all of them essential to the Mission’s success. Lynn tells us, “There’s the food pantry, the kitchen, the clothes closet, the grounds, construction. We have volunteers in every area of our programs. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.”
The past few months have been difficult, as COVID-19 precautions severely limited volunteer involvement. “We had to stop taking on new volunteers for safety purposes and use only those already on our volunteer docket. It’s really shown their commitment, that people are willing to come out and help in the midst of a pandemic. Their hearts are with us,” Lynn says. “Now that we’re accepting new volunteers again, I’m sure we’ll get phone call after phone call!”
Lynn handles orientation for all new volunteers and sets up training in whatever area they choose to serve. “We go over our core values and a code of conduct,” she says. She also ensures they get all the care and support they need, including recognition for anniversaries and birthdays.
“People feel like they’re part of a family when they volunteer at Open Door. Staff, volunteers, guests, and residents all work together for the bigger purpose of life change.” Most important of all, Lynn says, “As a volunteer, you can give hope to somebody.”