Angela and I first met during a busy day at Dinah’s House. She, while keeping an eye on her energetic 18 month old son, was helping another woman navigate our donation center. I noticed right away that she was fluent in both English and Spanish, and I made a mental note as bilingual volunteers are a crucial piece to our success. Later that same afternoon a woman from the homeless shelter walked timidly through our doors. I attempted to speak with her, but learned quickly that she was deaf. As I frantically tried to think of a way to communicate, without skipping a beat Angela marched right over and began speaking fluently with this woman in sign language. I think my mouth fell all the way to the floor. I asked her on the spot if she would consider being a regular volunteer. She laughed and emphatically replied, “of course!” Now Angela is the lead volunteer for our early afternoon open hours and I am continually amazed at the depth of this woman’s spirit and heart.
How did you first learn about Dinah’s House?
“It was like every other day, I was picking up my son from the bus stop, Gay said hello and told me that I could walk in. She gave me a tour and explained what Dinah’s House was about, helping woman and their children.”
What is your favorite memory at Dinah’s House?
“When my kid first walked into Dinah’s and saw all the toys and paintings. They were so excited. My son couldn’t wait to come back.”
How have you seen Dinah’s House positively impact women’s lives?
“I have seen how many women have come to Dinah’s house lost, without knowing what they really want. I have seen how they have changed their lives and become better and stronger people. It is rewarding to see the small, but positive changes that happen in each woman’s life. I’m proud of all of these women.”
Why do you keep volunteering week after week? What is it that draws you to Dinah’s House?
“I love helping people and knowing that I can make a difference in other people’s lives. One of the woman who lives at the shelter up the street came to me for advice on how to secure a day care voacher for her kids. I spent some time helping her navigate the complicated system, as she is only a Spanish speaker. I’ll never forget the day she walked into Dinah’s House with a huge smile on her face. She had finally been approved for the voucher. It’s an amazing to know that you can have such a direct impact on someone life. It’s wonderful to see their faces and actually see their happiness.