In every successful organization, there are those you see on the frontlines, and the many supporters and organizers you don’t see, behind the scenes.
For Back on My Feet, perhaps the simplest image that comes to mind for our nonprofit is of a crew of smiling members and volunteers jogging or walking through their communities in the predawn hours, building a base of fitness, dedication and commitment to better their lives. But so many of Back on My Feet’s volunteers produce lasting impacts in offices and community rooms, where next steps mentors, skills specialists and outreach experts help guide that dedication and commitment. They’re instrumental in keeping our organization growing and impacting more lives every day.
That’s where Ft. Lauderdale volunteer Preesha comes in — and where she hopes her career will go next. Since spring 2022, Preesha has been a Virtual Administrative Volunteer, raising awareness of Back on My Feet within our 18 communities around the country, and with the nearby businesses and organizations that have missions aligned with ours.
So did you find Back on My Feet through Facebook? Thank Preesha. Did you see an inspiring LinkedIn post about one of our members? Preesha again. Did a local running store partner with Back on My Feet to help organize an event for members? You guessed it. “I primarily help with outreach in all forms,” Preesha says. “I conduct research in locations Back on My Feet is located in to gain community partnerships, and I run the social media pages in order to boost volunteer and community engagement.”
Volunteers all have different reasons for donating their time to Back on My Feet. Preesha was driven by our organization’s revolutionary approach to combating homelessness and addiction, and our personal touch with members. Back on My Feet doesn’t simply offer food or clothing to those in need — our mission is to help offer a pathway to full self-sustainability. “Back on My Feet provides a unique outlook on ensuring that these people don’t fall back into the cycle of homelessness,” Preesha says. “I chose to volunteer here for this specific reason; it is an organization in which I can truly make an impact.”
Volunteering Impacting Professional Ambitions
That drive to positively impact others’ lives is already impacting Preesha’s life. Members finding a sense of community within the Back on My Feet program is key to its success, and our volunteers become invaluable parts of that community, too.
For Preesha, that has been such an educational experience that she recently enrolled in graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in public health. She sees this as an opportunity to further contribute to her community and create positive change through what she hopes will be new professional opportunities. “Working with Back on My Feet has allowed me to understand different people’s stories and their perseverance to get back on their feet if and when they’re given the opportunity,” she says.
And Preesha offered this advice for prospective volunteers who want to follow in her footsteps. “Every single volunteer in this organization is eager to make a difference in any way possible,” she says. “Be prepared to surround yourself with highly motivated, energetic, and passionate people.”
Visual Evidence of Back on My Feet Impact
In her volunteer work with Back on My Feet, Preesha doesn’t just document member successes; she gets to see them: She collects and curates the many photos and member and volunteer stories that flow through our offices every day, and helps connect them to compelling social posts and newsletter updates. Preesha is also the first to lay eyes on the Circle Up snapshots, event images and radiant member smiles that are a visual testament to the progress being made with Back on My Feet every day. “It’s rewarding to see members reach their goals!” she says. “Especially when it comes to fitness, any goal met, no matter how small, is cause for celebration.”