1. A story about learning:
A client came in today that I hadn’t seen in a while. He still remembered my name and we had a quick word. He came up to me after the program ended, and told me that he has a learning disability and was teaching himself how to read. I told him to follow me and we looked up the program for folks that need assistance with reading.
We got him a referral for Washington Learning Center that he could use immediately! He was so happy and so amazed that we could help him with exactly what he needed when he needed it.
After his wife left home he started drinking more every day. He finally realized that he has a real alcohol problem and he would like to stop.
For that reason, he came looking for help and is sure that Thrive DC will help him.
3. A story about community:
There is a client who I have formed a very special bond with, and whom I look forward to seeing and interacting with every day. Despite having a language barrier, we have a playful dynamic and it is very cathartic and stress-relieving to blow off steam by joking around together.
This week a staff member told me that client had said I was like a granddaughter to him. This warmed my heart and made me feel appreciated by and connected to the clients I serve.
4. A story about friendship and fun:
When there is a crossover in cultural music traditions, not everyone needs to speak English to contribute to unity. When I started playing an Afro-Cuban groove a client grabbed a percussion instrument and played a Tho Puente style drum solo.
He didn’t speak much English but the other clients were cheering him on and dancing. Even adding their own vocal improv.
5. A story about happiness:
Some clients love having their picture taken during coat drives. Some even seek me out before the drive even starts to remind me to get their picture. They get so excited to model off their new coats and cute hats and scarves.
When people think of coat drives, they usually think of unhappy people getting things they desperately need just to survive. But I find that the coat drives are an infectiously happy time, with clients thrilled to get things they need and look good on them. Clothes don’t make the man but can help an awful lot to see yourself in a new, more positive light.
Want to Volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach Spencer at [email protected] or (202) 503-1533. To learn more about volunteering at Thrive DC click the link below!