February 22nd, 2021
I remember my first shift as a volunteer as if it were just yesterday. It was Friday, October 12, 2018, and I was so scared of messing up. I had experienced the magic of the House a few times before while interviewing for the position and throughout training, but I was still a little nervous. On the car ride to RMHC®, my dad reassured me that everything would be fine. It was way better than fine! From the minute I walked through the door of the Volunteer Room, everyone was nice and understanding. Eventually, I would call a lot of the people I met friends.
Once I met my team members, we established a routine of making up rooms and doing other chores. We would do our work, talking about things that were going on in our lives as we did it. I met a lot of people during this time, such as a volunteer who taught me how to fold laundry better, and another who was good at making up guest rooms. I also met two other volunteers who were so nice and worked hard at whatever they did. Then there are the amazing House Managers who are so good at their jobs and the other awesome volunteers that I have worked with. Everyone who I have met while volunteering at the House has been so nice and kind.
Then there is Sydney (pictured above in the blue sweatshirt), who is the person that has volunteered with me since day one. As we have worked together, we have become great friends. Sydney has helped me learn more about volunteering, and I am happy to have worked with her all of these years. We talk about everything from her cute foster animals to what classes I am taking, and the shift always seems to fly by.
Now it is 2021. I am a 17-year-old senior in high school and not a 14-year-old freshman anymore. A lot has changed! Procedures and team members at the House have changed, especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am a Teen Ambassador for the House and I love it because I love meeting other like-minded people who want to help others. I am not the shy girl I was at the beginning of my time volunteering and have grown so much because of the great people I have met at the House and the friendships I have made.
-Sam Danczyk, Teen Volunteer since October 2018