We rely heavily on volunteers in every aspect of our work at the Mission. The opportunities are endless: sorting in the warehouse, stocking shelves at one of the thrift stores, mentoring, working at special events, data entry, leading worship at chapel, and serving in the kitchen.
Daneka Kielty, an account manager for a produce company, is one of these much-needed volunteers. Originally from Tulare, now living in Kingsburg, she learned about the VRM when her brother entered the Mission’s recovery program about eight years ago. During his stay she visited often, donating fruit to the kitchen and taking her brother and other residents to church on Sundays.
Seeing VRM staff show genuine care for her brother and the positive impact it was having, Daneka wanted to give back. Her brother had her, but not everyone had a support system. She wanted to let the other men and women know that someone cared, that someone was praying for them. Even if all she gave was a smile, she knew it was needed.
Daneka has helped serve meals in the VRM’s Community Kitchen, registered event guests at the Empty Bowls fundraiser and served as a table host at community meals. While it was her brother’s participation in the program that brought her to the Mission, it’s the constant need for volunteers and uplifting feeling she gets that keeps her plugged in. It turns out she received just as much as she was giving, if not more. In the future, Daneka hopes to volunteer and serve women staying at the VRM’s House of Hope.
“I consider volunteering an opportunity, one that I am so thankful for,” Daneka says. “I have the chance to help, to see the need right here in our community, and gain perspective on what’s really important. I would volunteer every day if I could.”
We’re grateful for Daneka and the hundreds of other volunteers who help us live out hope and restoration through Jesus Christ every day.
"This ministry was created by a group of volunteers to care for homeless and hurting people in their community. Today, we are still caring for our guests by partnering with volunteers like Daneka. There’s something really unique about the kind of care and concern that can be communicated from a volunteer who isn’t on staff- our guests know that volunteers care for them on their own free time. They feel seen and valued by them. This is why volunteers are a strategic part of the restorative environment at the Visalia Rescue Mission- we can’t accomplish what we do without them!" - Lindsay Baldwin, Assistant Director of Development