At Back on My Feet, our volunteers play a crucial role in helping our members regain their footing and build a path to a better future. We recently had the opportunity to speak with two dedicated volunteers, Paige and Anthony, about their experiences and the impact volunteering with Back on My Feet has had on their lives. Their words highlight the power of community, compassion, and shared goals.
Walking and Chatting with a Purpose
Paige is an active Back on My Feet volunteer who dedicates her time to Circle Up events and participating in 5Ks. She shared, “I go to two different locations and walk and chat with everyone. I enjoy organizing and helping the members and sometimes cheering them on from the sidelines during events.”
When asked about her motivation for volunteering, Paige revealed that it was her father who initially inspired her. She observed the positive impact the Back on My Feet members had on him and decided to join in. For Paige, the mission of Back on My Feet resonated deeply, especially the combination of volunteering and incorporating her morning run into the experience.
Anthony, another committed volunteer, emphasized the sense of community as his primary driving force. “There’s this agreement of accountability between the members and the volunteers,” he explained. Anthony recalled a one-year celebration for Back on My Feet in Seattle, where he saw firsthand the gratitude members expressed for the consistent efforts of volunteers like Paige. It was a powerful testament to the impact they were making.
The Personal Impact of Volunteering
Both Paige and Anthony acknowledged that volunteering with Back on My Feet had a significant impact on their lives. For Paige, the sense of community among both members and volunteers was an unexpected bonus. She shared that she eagerly looks forward to her weekly engagements with Back on My Feet.
Anthony echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the personal growth he witnessed in members as they pushed themselves to achieve their goals. “I see them pushing themselves and growing, both mentally and physically,” he explained. “With the location we’re at, exercise and personal growth go hand in hand.”
Breaking Down Stereotypes
One of the most significant takeaways from Paige and Anthony’s experiences is how Back on My Feet breaks down stereotypes surrounding homelessness and addiction. Paige highlighted the power of the Circle Up events, where it’s impossible to distinguish members from volunteers. She emphasized, “Everyone’s just a person. We’re all the same at the end of the day.”
Anthony added, “Especially when we’re all getting up early to do the same thing.” Back on My Feet reminds us that we are all equal, emphasizing our shared humanity.
Advice for Potential Volunteers
When asked about advice for those considering volunteering with Back on My Feet, Anthony encouraged potential volunteers by stating that the buy-in is relatively small. “Sure, you have to get up early, but I think it’s extremely rewarding,” he shared. Anthony believes the sense of community and connection fostered through Back on My Feet is well worth the early wake-up call.
Paige also encouraged potential volunteers to give it a try. She mentioned, “Just go out and try it once, and it will speak for itself. You’ll want to keep going back. The biggest effort is just getting up early and getting out there. You don’t have to do much — just have a good conversation with someone.”
In sharing their experiences and insights, Paige and Anthony show how volunteering can be a deeply rewarding and enriching experience. Join us in our mission to create a more inclusive and compassionate community by supporting those on their journey to overcome homelessness and addiction.