“Faces of GRACE” is an editorial series that highlights instrumental volunteers who offer their talents and resources to support families in need.
The volunteers at reception are perhaps among the unsung heroes at GRACE. Terry Meyers, Michele Pierce and Pat Gibson have loyally volunteered with answering calls, reassuring clients and performing clerical duties to ensure the office runs smoothly every day.
We asked Terry how she was introduced to GRACE, and here is what she said in her own words,
“I started volunteering at GRACE shortly after my retirement in June of 2014. I knew I had to have a plan for what I’d do next had been praying that God would lead me where he wanted me to be.
“I remembered the compassion that was shown me the day I brought all of my deceased husband’s belongings to the Donation Station. I was having a hard time letting go of his things and the attendant greeting me must have realized this because she touched my arm and said ‘you don’t know how much these things will help; we’ll take good care of them.’ Right then I knew that this was the kind of organization I wanted to be involved in – one with compassion. I’ve never regretted it.”
Terry worked with Boy Scouts of America for 33 years as an administrator for scouting programs abroad. While she has strength in administrate tasks, Terry was also matched with two Friends & Family seniors, and was nominated by GRACE as the Outstanding Older American in 2015.
Michele had a volunteer project with GRACE some time ago, and after she attended the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, she was reinvigorated to volunteer on a regular basis. Although Michele comes from corporate America, she’s quick to point out the significance of customer service no matter what you set out to do.
“I noticed right off that the mentality of the team at GRACE was to treat clients with great respect,” said Michele. “Respect is contagious. I am glad I have the opportunity to show the love of Christ to those who come through the door.”
When asked what has been the most rewarding aspect of her time at GRACE, she described how the spirits of the clients seem to soar after speaking with a client advocate. She said it’s subtle, but you come to recognize the look of hope on someone’s face.
Pat spent her entire professional career moving up the ladder in the telecommunications industry. After retiring last October, she knew the administrative skillset she had garnered over the years could be put to use somewhere.
Her family had been involved with GRACE with volunteer projects over the years, but it was only during volunteer orientation that she realized the vast scope of services GRACE offered to the community. Volunteering in an office setting felt like a natural fit.
Similar to Michele, one of the greatest first impressions the clients made on Pat was the look of relief on their face after speaking with a case manager.
When asked if there was anything the community was interested to know, Pat said this: “I would say that 98% of the clients are genuinely grateful for the assistance they receive at GRACE. The GRACE staff and volunteers are some of the most caring people I have ever met; they treat clients with the respect they deserve.”
These three women share the same competence, compassion and humility, which make the frontlines of GRACE a place of refuge, reassurance and hope. Thanks,Terry, Michele and Pat for investing your time and talents to those who come through our doors!
If you are interested in serving in an administrative capacity, contact Volunteer Manager Lara Hohweiler.