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Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly.
Director: (614) 488-0681 ext. 106
Manager: (614) 488-0681 ext. 203
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Tuesdays 9am to 12pm
Thursdays 9am to 12pm
First Community South
1320 Cambridge Blvd. Columbus, OH 43212

Volunteer of the Month: June 2024

By June 1, 2024Volunteer
Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations, Isaiah!

When asked about his work at Heart to Heart, this is what Isaiah had to say:

“I got into it because I was going to youth group on Sundays and Sarah kept saying they needed help at Heart to Heart.  I finally convinced my mom to let me try it out and I’ve never stopped.  I started just … with the youth and now I also help with order unloading and just started doing the drive through …  I really enjoy helping people and I also enjoy all the manual labor of lifting things and moving boxes and stocking. I also enjoy meeting new people.”

Isaiah has been a great addition to the team and other volunteers have expressed how impressive his work ethic is!

From Isaiah’s Mom:

I would also like to share with you how much Isaiah’s volunteer work at Heart to Heart has meant to my husband and me.

The context goes back a few years- In 2021, one of Isaiah’s younger brothers was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor and our life came to a grinding halt as we focused on this urgent need of keeping our child alive.  The original “good prognosis” he was given slipped away when his tumor didn’t respond to chemo as expected and he had to undergo two very long and risky brain surgeries and was unexpectedly hospitalized for three months.  The tumor itself and the brain surgeries left [his brother] with many lasting effects, including physical mobility impairments, vision impairments, fatigue, PTSD, short term memory loss, and traumatic brain injury symptoms- which can be debilitating.  For the past two years we have been struggling with all of these things, and unfortunately the TBI symptoms that [his brother] experiences especially have left us homebound for the most part, and has severely limited what our other kids have been able to be involved in. The difficult recovery that [his brother] has had from his brain tumor created a very different life than we had all been used to prior to [the] diagnosis.  Especially with Isaiah being a teenager, my husband and I wanted him to be spending time with peers and others, getting involved in the community, participating in activities he enjoyed, etc., not homebound like this.  But with our family situation that was really difficult.

In the fall of 2023, I slowly started getting involved in First Community.  I joined the Women’s Guild and started attending The Gathering every Wednesday night.  Isaiah also started attending Crossroads on Sundays- I was so glad to find something that I knew he could consistently be involved in as my husband was off work on Sundays so we knew at least one of us adults could be with Judah at all times, while the other would be available for the rest of our kids needs.  I read about Heart to Heart in the youth ministry weekly emails and thought that would be a great thing for Isaiah to do after awhile, but thought it might be best to just get acclimated to the youth group first and then later try out volunteering at the food pantry.  But, after a week or two Isaiah insisted that we volunteer at Heart to Heart as soon as we could because Sarah kept mentioning that they really needed more volunteers.  My husband works 11am-8pm, so typically isn’t home in the evenings- but Wednesday is his other day off, so the timing actually worked perfectly.  So Isaiah and I signed up to volunteer one Wednesday and like Isaiah said- he hasn’t stopped! He absolutely loves it and always wants to sign up for any possible shift that we can make work out.  He also now volunteers with the Share and Learn Garden after a couple I sat with at The Gathering one evening suggested it as another volunteer opportunity that he might enjoy.  Isaiah had no gardening experience and didn’t know anyone there, but he’s not afraid to try new things and I really admire that about him.

Isaiah loves helping others by volunteering at Heart to Heart, but it’s more than that for him- being involved in these things has done so much for him and our family as well- it has given Isaiah a way to be involved in meaningful work, build community, and do things that he enjoys outside of our house even though we are still limited in general due to [his brother]’s brain tumor recovery.  It’s been a way for him to have a normal life again.  Our life stopped in 2021- for everyone in our family- and it’s taken such a long time to gain back a sense of normalcy.  We’re still struggling with that and figuring it out, but volunteering at Heart to Heart has been a huge part of that for Isaiah. We can’t express how much this means to us.

Thank you so much for these opportunities that Isaiah has at Heart to Heart and for welcoming him to this work.  He really looks up to you and I cannot stress enough how much he loves volunteering at Heart to Heart.