In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re featuring some volunteers whose love story developed at Little Lights. Kicking it off, here’s Phillip Lee with reflections on volunteering with his wife Julie. [Awww!] Thanks, Phil!
Paul Kim Photography
Some men first fall in love on a beautiful summer day at the beach, as the waves clash in the background and the sunlight twinkles in their women’s eyes. Me? I fell in love with Julie on January 9, 2009, as we were painting the walls of Potomac Gardens. Not as glamorous, but just as – if not more – meaningful than a romantic walk on the beach. I remember how my heart skipped a beat when I secretly looked over at Julie painting away, oblivious to my glances. I admired the dedication she poured into painting those walls – each stroke an expression of her serving heart. She was the most beautiful I had ever seen her, with paint stains and dirt all over her clothes and body. She then looked back at me and smiled; and for the first time in my life, I felt true love. Surely, God’s painting of true love hangs on the walls of Potomac Gardens!
As you see, volunteering has innumerable benefits! Click here for information on volunteer opportunities at Little Lights.
Posted by Little Lights Urban Ministries at 09:21 AM
a blog post from volunteer Kelly Bickers.
From my tutoring sessions with Makala, I could tell the one thing she loved most was undivided attention—which on some nights included mine, Ms. Michelle’s, and Ms. Linda’s! So, in celebration of her birthday, I thought what better present could I give, than to spend time with her in a fun setting and with one of her favorite people, Ms. Michelle. Thankfully, Ms. Michelle was up for the trip and had the marvelous idea to invite one of Makala’s best friends, April.
We visited a place called the “Playseum” in Bethesda, Maryland, which you can see from the pictures below the girls thoroughly enjoyed. The girls played “dress up,” worked with arts and crafts, had their nails painted, held baby bunnies, and even got to decorate cupcakes. To sum up the experience, it was really great to see the girls get lost in play and just act like the beautiful young children they are. A big thank you to Little Lights for making the trip possible and to Michelle for so graciously offering to drive (who I don’t think quite planned for the combination of giggly girls and cupcake crumbs) and come along for the fun.
For two weekly one-hour sessions, the nine teen interns discussed how to greet people professionally and on the phone. The teens took a pre-test on basic communication in person and on the phone while at work—most scored 50% or below—an honest self assessment of where they had room to grow.
As we looked at the basics of work communication (answering the door, answering the phone, taking and relaying a phone message, dealing with a caller on hold), students began to think about their work communication thus far. More importantly, they came up with their own reasons why the way we communicate matters. They concluded that people will form opinions about Little Lights, and maybe whether or not they want to volunteer or donate to us, based on how we present ourselves. We also explored future uses for professional communication skills, like job search calls and college scholarship interviews.
The teens had the first session to learn the steps of professional communication, then were encouraged to practice their new skills on the job for the following week. When we met a week later, it was test time! I took out the Flip camera and a volunteer placed a call to the teen being filmed. Then we all watched and scored each teen’s mastery of phone etiquette at work. Watch their progress and a few bloopers in the video above!
Vince Bantu (formerly Campbell) and I recently had the opportunity and privilege of spending four days in Jackson, Mississippi to participate in a CCDA Emerging Leaders retreat. We had the opportunity to visit the John Perkins Foundation to see the work being done there and also got a bus tour from John Perkins, a civil right activist and the Father of the CCDA movement. Before the retreat, Vince and I readLet Justice Roll Down, which detailed the life and work of John Perkins. I recommend this book highly to anyone who cares about racial reconciliation and faith-based compassion ministry and social justice.
We also learned from CCDA leaders H. Spees and Dr. Luis Carlo. The group is led by CCDA board member John Liotti and staff member Dave Clark. The Cohort members also shared honestly about the highs and lows of ministry life and had some time to develop relationships with one another through meals and play.
Having the time to spend extended time with a leader like John Perkins (he is now 80) was an amazing privilege and one that will personally impact me for a long time to come.