Volunteering in Direct Service – A Commitment to Neighborliness
On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, trained volunteers spend a morning at CVEM welcoming neighbors needing assistance and meeting with them to listen compassionately, ask clarifying questions, help to problem-solve situations, and connect with other resources; and always striving to affirm the dignity of every person who walks through our doors.
Pictured CVEM Direct Service Volunteers and Staff: Front row L to R: Jack Tice, Vivia Waterman, Norma Wolff, Margo Easterbrook. Back row L to R: Kristie Sholtis, Pat James, Linda Prince, Martha Robert, Courtney Twigg, Meghan Twigg.
This summer we said good-bye to one of those very dedicated volunteers. After 17 years of service in a multitude of capacities, but continually in Direct Service, Kristie Sholtis bid farewell to Columbus. Kristie, husband Jim, and their children Emily, Jill, and Jacob (all active teen-age participants in Infusion and in many other ways at CVEM) are a family committed to neighborliness—a deep value that they brought with them to their service with CVEM and that surely grew stronger out of their experiences here too.
Kristie knows no strangers; she is gifted in her ability to connect immediately with virtually anyone. For 17 years she offered this gift in Direct Service and consistently created a safe space for honest conversation, realistic examination of a situation, and genuine encouragement to not only do “the hard thing” but also to take courage by trusting one’s own heart, abilities, and faith. Throughout her time at CVEM, Kristie honed her natural ability to make connections—practical connections related to family, friends and finance and connections to resources and opportunities throughout our regional communities. Rarely, if ever, would Kristie do for someone what they themselves were capable of doing; but she always made herself available to walk with others in especially tough times.. In these years of dedicated service at CVEM, Kristie directly impacted the lives of thousands of our neighbors in the region! Kristie’s presence is already greatly missed but she and her service continue to inform how Direct Service operates today!
CVEM is marvelously blessed by many more volunteers, serving in a wide variety of roles, in all of our programs and initiatives. Seven of those dedicated volunteers currently bring their own unique gifts and compassionate selves to serving our neighbors in Direct Service. Each of them would tell you also that while this may initially take you out of your comfort zone, there is training and support in learning the responsibilities specific to each volunteer role, and that you just need to “jump in” to try it and see if this is the right fit for you. And, they all would tell you, along with Kristie, they themselves are nourished through service here and just as blessed by the neighbors met here.
Contact us if you’d like to explore volunteer opportunities at CVEM. Email Martha at [email protected] -- and if you’d like to help out a neighbor in a time of crisis please donate here. 100% of all donations designated for Direct Service will be used in the form of assistance on behalf a neighbor in need.
Tags: Direct Service