Tag: Volunteer

A Little Story from ThriveDC

| April 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Thrive-DC-Logo-longI thought of a little story from yesterday’s volunteer work at Thrive. A very talkative and articulate woman chatted me up. Frankly, I wasn’t sure whether she was a staff member or a “client.” She was a client. She noticed I was from Boston and we talked about that. Then she asked for extra soap explaining that she was a bit obsessive about hand-washing. She was thrilled to hear I was married to a dutiful (not obsessive) hand washer.

After our first encounter, she came back a little later asked if a lot of people were telling me stories. I said no, not to that point. Then she asked if I would mind if she told me a story. I said of course not. She pointed to a small clear sandwich bag that she had tied to her pocketbook. It contained paper with handwriting on it. She told me that she found the paper on the floor of a bus and that it was a love note from a man to a woman. For whatever reason, she kept it and carried it with her everywhere.

That’s it. The whole story. I told her someone could write a book about that.

Volunteering for ThriveDC

| April 8, 2016 | 0 Comments

Thrive-DC-Logo-longToday was my first volunteer experience at ThriveDC. It was very rewarding. I was surprised with the good humor in a room filled with people living on the edge.   Lots of laughter and joshing. These people were mostly homeless and clearly struggling with life. ThriveDC gives them the basics, food and hygiene and the recipients were very warmly grateful.

I was staffing the hygiene corner. My partner was a staff member named Brian. He is young man in his twenties with a pony tail. I asked him what he did outside Thrive? He said he mainly protested. I asked what he protested. He said “Everything.” He grew up on Bethesda and Silver Spring. Graduated from UMD. Good guy.

My job was to manage the waiting list for the showers. They have two big shower stalls, just for the men. When they come in for their food at 8:30 am, they can get on the list for a shower. When their turn comes up, I give them towels and toiletries. They get 15 minutes and I go to the showers to give them a 5 minute warning when their time is almost up. Fifteen guys used the shower during my 2 hour duty. At the same time, Brian managed the laundry, creating lists for people to use the laundry next week and helping those on the list use the laundry today.

I really enjoyed the experience. My regular shift will be on Wednesdays. I’m looking forward to going back.