• Arlington Charities

 

 

Susan Ashley has been volunteering at Arlington Charities for seven years after her friend and fellow volunteer, Nicky, recommend that she join the volunteer team. For Susan, working in the pantry and helping clients is by far the best part of volunteering. She enjoys meeting the clients and asserts that everyone she meets is “really nice.” Susan’s favorite memory of volunteering actually comes from an interaction between two clients. One time, a Muslim woman was shopping and declined to take any meat for religious purposes. Rather than simply not taking any meat, she elected to give her meat to a man behind her so that he could have extra. These small moments of goodwill are a constant occurrence at Arlington Charities.

 

Outside of volunteering, Susan has practiced the art of basket weaving for forty years. She has attended over ten basket weaving conventions and has trained all over the world. Her beautiful pieces often combine a variety of materials, but she especially enjoys working with gourds. Susan now basketweaves full time and sells her wares on her website www.txweaver.com

 

Susan would “greatly recommend” volunteering to others. She emphasizes that things may seem a little overwhelming at first, but after you have volunteered a while, you quickly learn “everything that needs to be done.”

  • Arlington Charities

 

 

Syble Vandenbosch has been coming to Arlington Charities for close to twenty years and she has shared the experience with her siblings, children, and grandchildren as well. Syble has been through a lot in her life including battling throat cancer from second-hand smoke, losing two of her four children, and dealing with friends and family members battling drug addictions. However, she has great support groups at West Community Church and Arlington Charities. Syble asserts that Arlington Charities has helped her during times when she couldn’t even walk from the chemo by delivering to her house and helped her pick specialty foods when her diet was restricted. Beyond offering physical help, Syble says she can count on the staff and volunteers at Arlington Charities to take the time to listen to her, pray with her, or even just give her a hug. In fact, her favorite part of coming to Arlington Charities is the people.

 

Outside of receiving help at Arlington Charities, Syble enjoys helping with her daughter’s roller derby. She also likes to give back to the community herself. Whenever she can, Syble likes to volunteer at Arlington Charities herself and send volunteers from West Community Church over to Arlington Charities. Every time she has leftover food that she doesn’t need from Arlington Charities, she will donate it back or she will cook extra food for our homeless lunch program.

  • Arlington Charities

 

 

Eve Osbakken has been volunteering with Arlington Charities for about six years. Arlington Charities is always evolving and over her six years, Eve has witnessed some of the changes herself. The most impactful change for her is the attitude towards the diverse populations of clients. She admitted that some of the volunteers were rude to different populations when she started, but they were swiftly removed. Now, there is a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and Eve is very happy how accepting and multicultural of an environment Arlington Charities has become. Her favorite part of volunteering is meeting clients from all over the world who come for help and hearing their stories. Eve recounted a story to me of a Russian lady who came to Arlington Charities who spoke no English. She had an interpreter with her but was very anxious and overwhelmed during her first visit. However, the welcoming environment at Arlington Charities soothed her anxiety. Now, when the Russian woman comes in, she wears a huge smile and is always grateful for the help. Being originally from Germany herself, Eve has a huge empathy with the immigrant plight.

 

When not volunteering at Arlington Charities, Eve stays very active with other nonprofits and charitable services. With the Presbyterian Night Shelter, she helps older adults get out and go on trips to museums and cultural spaces around Dallas and Fort Worth. They have even been on a trip to Europe. She also helps people in prison deal with stress and develop themselves.

 

Eve would definitely recommend volunteering at Arlington Charities to others and to live their lives by the words of St. Francis, “for it is in giving that we receive.” She also advises that new volunteers take advantage of the wisdom of other volunteers and our new volunteer coordinator. Volunteers did not used to be trained as well as they are now.