A small hesitation that many new moms and Mission Corps have about living at Maggie’s Place is the challenge of sharing a house with so many other women. I grew up as the oldest of 8 children, 7 of whom are female, so in some ways, I was prepared. We strive to create an environment…
What worries, concerns, or reservations, if any, did you have with your daughter’s decision about volunteering?
I didn’t really have too many concerns. She had already shown herself to be a reliable adult while away for 4 years of college and then a year as a Jesuit Volunteer. She had been in Phoenix for a year in the Jesuit Volunteer community and had met the women from Maggie’s Place in various activities. She was excited about the possibility of living in a much healthier community than she had been in, and with her inherited love of babies it seemed like the perfect place to hone her social work skills. I enjoyed visiting Maggie’s Place and thought it was a good fit for her.
How did your feelings change over the course of your daughter’s year of service?
My feelings were validated the longer she stayed at Maggie’s Place. She made good friends, learned a lot of different skills, and was becoming more confident about handling a variety of tasks.
What kind of impact do you think your daughter’s year(s) of service had on her?
Every year she gained more skills and confidence. She took on roles with more responsibility and I was amazed at the wonderful job she did opening the home in Ohio. It spurred her to earn her Masters in Non-Profit administration. She learned so much about coordinating the needs of so many different people from a wide variety of backgrounds. She developed amazing leadership skills and had to make really difficult decisions about the mothers in the house. She learned to work with a variety of social service agencies, churches, volunteers, clients, and co-workers. As a volunteer she had to step outside of her comfort level and handle tasks far above her “pay grade” because the work needed to be done and she was the one chosen.
Why would you recommend others to consider a year of service at Maggie’s Place?
I would strongly recommend a year or more of service because it helps the volunteers grow in many ways, far more than they would in any regular job. Work needs to be done and the volunteers have to do it whether they know how to or not. It is a leap of faith in many ways but helps to build strengths in so many areas. It is a lot of hard work but the volunteers find he strength within themselves and others to get it done. They live daily with others who have had such different life experiences. It helps them see the strengths in themselves and others. It helps them appreciate their own upbringing and the advantages they have had over the clients. It helps them see the growth that the mothers have made in wanting to provide for their children.
It is truly a wonderful growth opportunity for the volunteers and gives them a plethora of skills they couldn’t amass in any other job. It was a life changing experience for my daughter and has provided her with friends for life.