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Niki’s Story

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew in my heart that helping women and children embrace the day-to-day struggles they might encounter would make me feel complete. As a child growing up, I was one of those children who had a mother that tried really hard, as a single parent, to make every day special for her three children. She would shed tears in the dark- but I would see her. She would pray for help under her breath- but I could hear her. As a volunteer today, I know some of the woman I sit with and give a
warm cup of coffee to, are going through exactly that.  I know they have small children they are trying to care for, I know they struggle with where their next meal’s going to come from- but they have come to me for help and support, and if I can make them smile, for just one minute, then that’s what I am going to do.

As a volunteer, I have received many verbal gifts- which truly are the best ones. A couple of my favorites from the past few months that stand out are:

-          “Niki… The support you have given me today is better than any Christmas present I have ever got.” (this woman   received coffee, a banana, a sweater, a jacket, and some boots)

-          “Seeing your smiley face here makes me smile, Niki.”

–          One gal a few weeks ago said to me, “Niki, I like how you take the time to remember all our names, and address us as friends.”

Sometimes I have a hard time at the end of the day, knowing some of these women and children are sleeping in shelters, or worse. But I do feel at ease a little, because I know in my heart that if I have seen them that day, then I have made things a little brighter for them. It may just take a toothbrush or a warm pair of shoes, but sometimes it’s just my friendly smile and warm voice with caring or kind words that helps them get through a tough time.

Volunteering is honestly the most rewarding thing I have chosen to do in my life. Everyone that takes
life for granted, even a little, should spend a day as a volunteer.

– Niki