At first, I just signed up to volunteer at Safe Harbor because I wanted to help, to do more. I’d been to the house to volunteer twice through HandsOn Greater Richmond and I was really starting to feel connected to the place and their mission. I was a bit to surprised to learn the training program was 8 sessions, but I was also intrigued. I love to learn and I wanted to be a good volunteer, so I was all in. I even made arrangements (and apologies) to miss other commitments so that I didn’t miss any of the classes.

And then we started going to class. And it was like no other volunteer training I’ve ever experienced. Each session was so incredibly thought-provoking. Never would I have imagined that a class where I was just as likely to laugh as to cry (and then laugh again) would soon start to become my favorite part of the week. Your brain gets overloaded with new ideas and your heart is so full from the people in the room. But they aren’t just people anymore—you’ve grown attached. Now they are your friends. There is no way to go through this training and not come out a different person at the end of it. I’ve learned so much from Stacie and the other facilitators, specifically about the resilience and complexity of the human spirit, that I will never forget. I know what I have learned will help me be a better volunteer at Safe Harbor, but it will also allow me to be a better friend, daughter, sister and co-worker. I am truly grateful for the experience.