We couldn’t do this critical work without your help and continued support for our clients whether that be helping Chef Terrance in the kitchen to sorting mail and everything in between, the impact is helping us better serve the community. We are sharing stories that resonate with our clients, staff, and volunteers though Stories of Hope emails and our Volunteer Spotlight series.
Mariah, our Communications Coordinator, sat down with Amogh to learn more about why he got involved with us and how others can get started. Amogh dedicates his time to helping with in kind donation sorting and distribution, aiding in administrative tasks, sorting and distributing coats during our winter warmth days, and everything in between. He’s a strong supporters of all things Thrive DC, read more about his story below!
How did you first hear about Thrive DC?
I heard about thrive from Rebecca my friend in Grad school who was also previously a volunteer at Thrive. I was looking for a way to get involved in my community when I decided to work and live in DC and she was very helpful in providing me the resources to reach out and get involved
What made you interested in volunteering with us?
My interest started with my trips to DC for my internships and informational interviews. While in DC I noticed the issue of people experiencing homelessness in the metropolitan area and found myself asking what can I do to help and contribute my skills to work towards ending homelessness.
What have been some highlights or a moment that has stood out to you so far?
A moment that stood out for me was when I was working to hand out mail to a client and we ended up striking a conversation about the catalog of shoes she received in the mail. The conversation shifted from me letting her know to have a nice day to us bonding over the fact that we both love to shoe shop and our favorite kinds of shoes and what we wanted to get our loved ones for Christmas. It was a humbling experience as an outsider, because we tend to forget people experiencing homelessness are human too and we all share that common bond of wanting to socialize and be loved. It was one of my favorite moments where I could make a difference in someone’s day by sharing my love for shoes.
What does a typical volunteer shift look like for you? What areas or tasks do you usually help with?
A typical volunteer shift for me is helping with administrative tasks. I come in on Mondays at 1pm-3pm to help sort and organize mail. I then help distributed mail to clients as they come to check if they have received any new packages etc. Depending on the day, I help with filing intake folders, shred documents, organize and file in-kind donations that people drop off or help with distributing and organizing the in-kind donations.
What are your passions in life and the broader community?
My passions in life are to work towards creating a more prosperous community for all. Having lived and traveled in South Asia and South East Asia, I was introduced to a wide variety of human suffering but also saw inefficiencies in institutions or the lack of institutional powers to help people. This sparked my passion to take up developmental economics to learn about what economies need and how markets work to deliver those goods. This passion then evolved to me pursing a Masters to approach solutions through sound policy work. Having a background on how markets and economies functions, I wanted to understand what are the political levers for social and economic changes that occur at the policy making level and what are the impacts many of these policies have on people and institutions.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in volunteering with us or just starting out?
I would say come in with an open heart and mind. Greeting someone with a smile and a positive attitude can make an impact, even though it is small. Change in incremental and smile and positive attitude in a step in the direction of progress.