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  • Writer's pictureOutreach

Jodi's Journey with Outreach

"I am a mom of two boys, 24 and 26 years of age. I found that as my children aged through school, they needed me more. They required a role mode to provide consistency regarding values, they needed an advisor to provide wisdom on relationships, and a coach on how to navigate the world’s challenges. Upon their graduation from college, they moved out of my house and needed my support less as they became more experienced in the real world. I retired from Eli Lilly in December of 2021 after almost 27 years and had worked at the Sr. Management level. I found myself with time on my hands, a passion to help others, and missing my hands on Mom role.

I searched the internet to find a volunteer opportunity that would allow me to use my transferable skills and that would allow me to help others while providing personal fulfillment. I did not want to find a paying job, as this is my time to give back to others and I wanted freedom to pick when I work.

I found Outreach Inc. on an Indianapolis government website for volunteers. There were numerous volunteer opportunities listed and the description for each role was clear, the website contained additional compelling information, and the organization seemed to be funded, had governance, and an appropriate organizational construct. I applied and was contacted hours later by the energic volunteer coordinator. After taking a tour of the facility, learning more about the organization, and chatting with a staff member, I felt an overwhelming since of peace that God had led me to this place. I was right where I was supposed to be. I was overwhelmed with emotion.

I love engaging with the youth and young adults at the Program Center. Every interaction is unique. Sometimes I am needed to just listen, others want advice, and some need help obtaining basic documentation (e.g. birth certificates, ID, social security cards), while others seek assistance to apply for a job, higher education, or governmental benefits. Compassion, organization, resourcefulness, coordination, and sometimes tough love is required.

I come back because this place feels like family. The staff are wonderful and the youth comment often that we are the closest thing they have to family. I am rewarded through seeing their progress, both great and small strides. I am here to cheer them on as they make progress and pick them up with encouragement when things don’t go their way." - Jodi, Outreach Volunteer

Today, like Jodi, you can be part of A Journey to HOPE by giving a financial gift towards our goal of raising $325,000. With your support, we can continue to see, know, and love more youth and young adults in Indianapolis experiencing homelessness. Your gift will have double the impact as we have a $100,000 match! Visit our website to give a gift today.

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