Our July Volunteer of the Month for July is Robert Meyers! Robert has been volunteering with Inspiration Corporation for nearly a year and a half. He can usually be found volunteering in our Meals Program. He cooks and serves meals several times a month at both the Inspiration Cafe in Uptown, and the Living Room Cafe on the South Side. We asked Robert a few questions about his volunteer experience:
What is the most enjoyable part of volunteering for you?
There are so many things too numerous to name. But I would say the most enjoyable part is getting to know Inspiration’s clients by name, learn their preferences for food and drinks, and the occasional times I run into clients on the street and in the city.
What aspect of volunteering are you most excited about? What is the most challenging?
[I’m] Most excited about how volunteering allows people from vastly different backgrounds and vocations, including and especially the clients in Inspiration’s program, who rarely would have gotten a chance to interact to participate together in the program. Most challenging I think is not to worry about the clients we serve, especially this past winter given how harsh it was and knowing many of the clients were at the mercy of the elements.
What is your volunteer background?
Volunteered as board member and pacer for local running group. Coached youth basketball.
Why do you volunteer?
It is the best way to connect with the community in which I live. I never feel out of touch or alone when I volunteer.
Describe one of the most interesting experiences you’ve had as a volunteer.
Coaching kids basketball in park league in Los Angeles area. Had an amazing and very assertive young player who originated from Afghanistan as parents fled during Soviet War. Spent a lot of time with him playing basketball outside of the park league more as a big brother, and even went to see if he and his family were okay during the huge earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994.
How did you hear about Inspiration Corporation?
From my therapist. Her son in high school volunteers at Inspiration and she recommended me trying it as a way to give back to the community and also to heal myself.
What are your hobbies, besides volunteering?
Bicycling, photography, and journaling.
What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
Mainly there is something to be said about providing a system where people of diverse backgrounds, professional and personally, different income levels and status in society, and vastly different ages can all participate and contribute seamlessly to program which helps the homeless and are treated equally in the process. That is the system Inspiration has in place for volunteering works on so many levels!