This week, we celebrate National Volunteer Week by spending some time with Volunteer Manager Allison Parris, who’s volunteer journey began at just 11 years old!
Allison first started serving at the Mission with her family when she was eleven. Like a lot of our volunteers, she started serving dinner at our Burnside Shelter every month. This lasted from middle school through college. When Allison was in middle school, she had a short mission’s trip to Shepherd’s Door, our women, and women with children’s recovery center, as pictured below.
“As I grew up, Portland Rescue Mission was always a very familiar place and a place that I knew was doing good work. I loved being a part of it. I knew I wanted to work for a non-profit, and I knew I wanted to work at an organization that was directly serving people.”
After college Allison sat down with Director of Engagement, Dallas Lange, where she started to learn the wide breadth of integrated services offered at the Mission.
“Even though I’d known about this organization for 12 years, there was more than I knew, and I loved that. I really fell in love with Shepherd’s Door and what happens here with the women and kids. I knew I’d love to work there someday.” Within a year of meeting with Dallas, that’s exactly what happened. Three years later she serves as Volunteer Manager.
“It’s fun to see it come full circle,” she said. “I don’t know if I would have the same heart and passion for helping others if I hadn’t grown up serving.”
When asked what she would share with someone who is considering volunteering, she shared, “Do things that are uncomfortable. Even if someone is nervous to volunteer, see if it’s something that you might grow in. So often we grow when we are uncomfortable.”
When you partner with Portland Rescue Mission you join a community that is changing the face of pain, addiction, loneliness, and homelessness. It takes hundreds of people to make this work possible, each person with their unique gifts. Your time, talent, and compassion will bring hope and healing to people who are hungry, homeless, and hurting.
If you are interested in volunteering, apply today at https://portlandrescuemission.org/volunteer/.