202-737-9311 | info@thrivedc.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Interview with Karen

Posted on August 21, 2018

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 our Stories of Hope and our Volunteer Spotlight series. 

Mariah, our Communications Coordinator, sat down with Karen to learn more about why she got involved with us and how others get get started. Her and her husband are both volunteers and strong supporters of all things Thrive DC. Karen dedicates her time to both our morning program and helping us with administrative work at the front desk. She has a passion for helping our clients, thank you for your time and dedication!

How did you first hear about Thrive?

From my husband, Brian. He started volunteering at Thrive in January of 2017 and at that time he was living in DC and I was living in Alabama. One day during the week I came here with him to help serve breakfast and that was my very first experience with Thrive.

What made you interested in volunteering with us after your first time here with Brian?

I just saw the need and I saw what Thrive does and what Brian had told me about the organization, how all of these serves that are offered to the community make an impact. I thought, I would like to be a part of this!

How long have you been volunteering with us?

It’s been over a year! I started in February of 2017, I’ve been here in DC almost a year and a half. This is my first experience in a city of this size.

What has stood out to you most while volunteering at Thrive? You’ve been with us for over a year, what makes you keep coming back?

Simply enjoyment! I enjoy my interactions with the clients. I love watching the staff interact with the clients, I’ve learned a lot. Just knowing that a lot of the clients who come may not have a strong support system and to see them, learn their names, I think it means a lot.

Are there any moments with clients that have stood out to you?

Recently, there’s been a client that I’ve seen here on and off for months. I’m here once a week but I think she comes here pretty regularly. I usually see her in the computer lab in the afternoons and it’s always a delight to see her. A few weeks ago, I saw her at union station and she was like, “hey!” It was like meeting up with an old friend, I got to see and talk for a few minutes so that was neat!

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to volunteer with us?

Come volunteer! Keep an open mind and know that your interaction with someone may be the highlight of their day. How you treat them can impact the rest of their day from then on. We all have unique personalities. There is power in kindness. There’s a book that I read recently called Everybody, Always by Bob Goff and it’s all about love. Loving others and especially your neighbors and even strangers. He talks about building relationships three minutes at a time, relationship building is so important.

1525 Newton St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 737-9311

Client Hours:
Tuesday - Friday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM | 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Staff Hours: 
Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
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