Volunteer uses talents to help StreetWise impact others

Isn’t it funny the way it happens?

She thought she was helping others, but she discovered she was also being helped. For Tina Weaver, volunteering at StreetWise has been a life-giving experience. 

Tina has spent the last seven months serving as an administrative assistant working closely alongside Volunteer Coordinator Bonnie Moore, Executive Assistant Karen Cox, and Executive Director Tracy Joseph. Her husband Scott volunteers at StreetWise, too.

“I love serving at StreetWise because of the heart of God that they show to everybody,” Tina said.

Just since last October, Tina has seen literal tons of food given away week after week, not to mention clothing and other essentials. But from her perspective, what seems to bring clients in need back to StreetWise is not the stuff they’re given but the love they’re shown.

“I help make appointments for clients – often over the phone – and people say to me all the time just how grateful they are, that they have a place to turn to,” she said.

Sometimes, clients’ needs are great: greater than what many of us will ever experience.

“Recently, we had the chance to help a couple with young children. They just moved to the area in January, but in March their house burned down. They had nothing,” Tina said.

“They were able to come [to StreetWise] and get food and speak with our client advisors. And we have partners we can connect them with who will help them – once they get a place to live – get furniture, clothing, and all of the things they need. 

“Before, they literally had nothing, but they were able to turn to us and get some hope.”

Even in her relatively short time serving at StreetWise, Tina has experienced immense satisfaction and once-in-a-lifetime blessings.

“One of the highlights of my time volunteering for our monthly Mobile Food Pantries was when I had a woman in line who I prayed for,” she said, “and afterwards, she and her daughter prayed for me.”

Moments like these reveal how special StreetWise is, both for clients and volunteers alike. And Tina’s life goes to show that serving others doesn’t just bless the ones being helped; it nearly always blesses the helper, too.

“My heart is just overwhelmed every day I come to StreetWise,” Tina said. “I want people to know that Streetwise really has a heart for the community, for the people that we serve, and for the people that volunteer here.

“Before I started volunteering here, I was just sitting at home, really not doing anything – I didn’t have a lot of purpose to my life. 

“But by allowing me to use the talents I already had to make a difference, God gave me purpose by bringing me StreetWise.”