Urban Alliance

Volunteer Highlight: Laura at the Agape House in Bristol

Laura Trinks volunteers as an Administrative Assistant at the Agape House, a ministry in the UA network that lovingly serves the homeless and people in need through a day center, life skills ministry, street outreach, food pantry, and friendship. Laura’s volunteer job description was mostly about filing, answering the phone, computer skills and organizing paper work. The day I met her, she spoke about covering the front desk, helping sort baby clothes, learning the names of The Crew that visits every day, and “really, just doing whatever needs to be done.”

How did you get involved with The Agape House?

I used to be a mortgage broker, but I stopped that a while ago when I got married and I felt like “I want to do something.” I was looking for a way to volunteer on Volunteer Match and this position seemed like a good fit for what I could do and what I was comfortable with, plus the location was a good fit. Then I filled out an application with Urban Alliance. I went in and met with Rosa at Urban Alliance, and then I came to the Agape House and met with Christine. And it worked out great.

What is a typical day like for you?

I’m technically Christine’s assistant, but I do whatever they need me to do on any given day. I could help out in the clothing room or the front desk. Sometimes, I’m in the life skills room if someone needs help applying for Social Security or unemployment, because sometimes people don’t feel comfortable with the technology. We’ll help with resumes, or finding apartments. So, where we see a need, we try to fill it.

What's changed and what's stayed the same for you in light of COVID-19?

We still treat people just like we treat everybody else. People could probably get a cup of coffee anywhere, but they come here because of the personal connections. That hasn't changed.

Walking from my car this morning, I had to keep reminding myself – I’m not supposed to hug anybody.

What would you say to someone who would like to volunteer?

I was worried when I first came to volunteer. I had never really volunteered before. I wondered “will these people even accept me because my life is so different?” I didn’t have to worry.   I don’t know where our Crew would go if we weren’t here.

I think everybody should have this experience.


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