Volunteer Spotlight: Meet 12 Amazing ICPADS Volunteers!

April is National Volunteer Month, and we are so excited to celebrate this important holiday! As we mentioned in a past blog post, volunteering is what keeps our homeless shelter moving forward. Volunteers started the shelter back in 2002. Volunteers help us do the work today. And our future success also depends on the ongoing support of volunteers.

So today, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we want to give a little shout out to ICPADS volunteers! The volunteers below shared their answers in a survey we created so we could write this blog post. If you are a volunteer and missed this opportunity, you can take the survey here so that we may feature you in a future blog post.

And if you’re not volunteering with us yet, this is the perfect time to join us! Learn about our volunteers’ stories below, then contact us on our website or our Facebook page so we can discuss volunteer opportunities and how we can use your specific gifts in our nonprofit organization.


Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you. And I will do good to you because you have done this thing. (2 Samuel 2:6)


12 Amazing ICPADS Volunteers

Here we are spotlighting some of the incredible ICPADS volunteers who help us continue to serve the needs of homeless men and women in our community. Check out their stories below!

Jessica H.

Jessica has been volunteering with ICPADS since February 2019. In addition to signing in guests and helping to prepare meals, Jessica has served as a board member and is currently our Board President. (You can learn more about that in an interview with her here.)

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I volunteer because I believe in building up the community. I especially believe in helping those who are at a disadvantage. ICPADS aligns with my beliefs about helping through basic needs and building up guests from within.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

The trust that is built between guests and volunteers/staff.

Carlton S.

Carlton has been volunteering with ICPADS since January. We appreciate his help on Thursdays and Fridays!

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I love to help and give because so many people helped me when I was down. I can’t not help my fellow brothers and sisters.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Feeding the people good food so they can feel some part of being home in a family.

Dina C.

Dina started volunteering with ICPADS four or five years ago. She does “anything that needs to be done”! This includes meal prep, serving food, cleaning up, laundry, organizing, and interacting with guests to make them feel comfortable.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I enjoy serving people in our community. We are ALL called to make a difference in the lives of people experiencing difficult times.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Working with other volunteers and interacting with our guests. Hopefully my work is making a difference at ICPADS. (It is, Dina, it really is!)

Sherri

Sherri has been with us since March 2022 and helps us out with meal prep.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

Our church Living Way picked ICPADS as a mission field to partner with.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Seeing people get a nice meal and the sincere thanks so many of the guests offer.

Melissa D.

Melissa started making food for the ICPADs shelter about four years ago. Then, about two years ago, she started volunteering one night a week, where she checks guests in, does food prep, serves dinner, does dishes, cleans the kitchen, and folds the laundry.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I started because it’s part of the corporal works of mercy & then just continued because I enjoy it.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Helping people that need help. I’ve always liked helping or taking care of someone.

Phil J.

Phil has been volunteering with ICPADs for three or four years. He welcomes guests as they come into the shelter in the evening, and helps serve dinner.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I believe in giving back to my community & for personal reasons.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Seeing our clients succeed in bettering themselves & being part of that process.

Luke

Luke started volunteering with ICPADS back in February 2021. He volunteers during the dinner shift, which is 6:30pm to 10 or 11PM.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I volunteer because I felt within me a call to share my time and energy with others; to participate in service with/for others for the greater good.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Getting to know our clients and witnessing the community they have with each other, and getting to share in that.

Kristen N.

Kristen became an ICPADS volunteer in early fall 2017 and she currently plays several roles in our organization. On Monday nights, she greets and signs in the ladies in our women;s shelter, does new guest intakes, prepares and serves dinner, washes dishes, and checks in to make sure guests are doing okay. She also helps manage the ICPADS website (making sure information is accurate and up-to-date and uploading blog posts). In addition, she serves as a board member, assisting our director, Harrison Holtkamp, with whatever needs he may have. Kristen is an ICPADS advocate, and helps raise awareness about our program within La Porte County.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

In general, I volunteer because I feel like it is a good use of my time. I believe that God’s love is shown when we love people through service. It’s a way of showing the world that we aren’t alone and forgotten.

I used to work for a non-profit that helped at-risk individuals; it was there I met my first neighbors who were experiencing homelessness. God used those interactions to open my eyes to the variety of needs and strengths that lie within each of them. When Harrison asked if I would want to be a part of ICPADS, I jumped at the chance to stay connected, advocate, encourage, and support this community. Now that I have done it for nearly five years, I see all of the successes, and it reminds me that all of our stories are interconnected and valuable. The kindness and fortitude I see each week is an honor to experience.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

I love seeing people overcoming obstacles with the support of ICPADS. Along with that, I enjoy, very much so, the weekly time I get to spend with so many different women.

Ryan E.

Ryan started volunteering with ICPADS in August 2020. She is currently the Treasurer of our board.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

ICPADS truly offers an amazing service to La Porte County in not only taking in the homeless, but serving as facilitator of helping people facing their issues, overcoming them, and moving into housing that they can be proud of.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Seeing the guests that complete the program.

Ed M.

Ed has been volunteering for ICPADS since November 2001. Yes, that’s back when the shelter first got started, before it was even known as Interfaith Community PADS! He helps serve dinner and monitor guests, and is also currently a member of our board.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

Harrison makes me do it. (That was Ed’s joking answer to our question! But we know that the real reason is that he has a heart of gold.)

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

Knowing I am doing my part.

Deb L.

Deb started volunteering with ICPADS in 2018. Initially she provided meals, helped with clean-up, and assisted as we moved to our permanent location at Sacred Heart Church. Currently she serves as a board member and works with a component of the fundraising team.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

Since retiring, I am able to focus my extra time and energy to serve as a volunteer. Volunteering at ICPADS makes a difference in the lives of our guests as well as for our community.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

The progress our guests make as they work on their goals and develop the skills that will enable transition from homelessness to finding permanent housing.

Jennifer F.

Jennifer became an ICPADS volunteer in fall 2021. She started out volunteering on Tuesday evenings, checking in guests and helping serve meals. Now she helps with the ICPADS blog, newsletter and FB page.

Why do you volunteer (in general and why ICPADs specifically)?

I believe we should all share the gifts God has given us. I chose ICPADS because they offer a valuable service in our community to people who really need the help.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering with ICPADS?

I have met some great people while volunteering at ICPADS! It feels good to know that what I am doing is making a difference in our community and in individuals’ lives.

Thank You ICPADS Volunteers!

A special thank you to all ICPADS volunteers who help us with our mission – the 12 listed above and those who were not able to complete our survey.

If you’re thinking of volunteering at ICPADS, we would love to welcome you to our team!

Contact us on our website or our Facebook page so we can discuss volunteer opportunities and how we can use your specific gifts in our nonprofit organization.

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