Stories of Hope
Real change—every day.
Our work—to reach the most vulnerable and under-served in our community—would not happen without the support of loyal donors, dedicated volunteers and devoted staff who work every day to create real change in the lives of those who need help the most.
Sometimes that means helping with the basics—a kind word or a warm bed. But more often, it means being
there in a way that transforms both
recipient and giver. That’s the real impact of your support.
Read through the “Stories of Hope” below and you’ll see what we mean:
Resources for This Section
- The Home Depot Foundation's Story: Serving Our Veteran Heroes
We were excited to welcome several dozen Team Depot volunteers to our Rest & Recoup and Eagles’ Rest homes for formerly homeless veterans on September 19 and 20, 2012. The two-day, two-site blitz was the culmination of three months of work including: a new deck and landscaping for the R & R house; improvements to the heating and cooling systems at Eagles’ Rest; and weatherization, new blinds and bike racks for both houses—all made possible by a $30,000 Home Depot grant and hundreds of volunteer hours donated by Team Depot, The Home Depot® associate-led volunteer force.
- ADK's Story: An Education in Giving
At Volunteers of America, the support of Alpha Delta Kappa teachers’ sorority can be seen around every corner. “They’re like a sleeper cell,” says Hope House director Rusty Barnett. “Anything we need we can call ADK and it’s here in an instant—quilts and blankets, gloves and hats, hygiene items and more.” Learn more about the difference they are making>
- Holly's Story: teen finds refuge, calling at Project Safe Place
Having a safe place to run instead of running away can change the course of a frightened teenager’s life. How does Holly know? She is not only the Host Home coordinator at Project Safe Place in Coeur d’Alene—she was once was that desperate teenager.
- Tim's Story: Veterans' housing manager witnesses transformations through bicycling
“When we picked-up the bicycles,” recalls Tim, “some of the vets came with us to ride their new bikes home. We immediately noticed a sense of excitement and jovialness; their anxieties seemed to melt away as they got on the bikes and start riding.”
Over the next few weeks the guys rode their bikes all the time.
“It was amazing,” says Jon Carollo, who directs all of Volunteers of America’s programs for veterans. “Except that we quickly realized that when a veteran ‘graduated’ and lef the house for his own apartment, his bike had to stay with the program. So, we asked the guys at both houses to come up with a solution.”
- Two Wheel Transit's Story: Local bike shop makes a difference for veterans, two wheels at a time
“Anytime someone comes into the Two Wheel Transit shop, and we know they’re a vet,” says Forshag, “we always try to take a minute to say ‘thank you for your service.’ It’s important to be mindful of what they’ve done for us. Being involved in Bikes for Homeless Vets is a natural extension of that gratitude.”
- Henry's Story: Coming full circle after incarceration
When our Maud’s House program closed its doors in May 2011, our facilities manager Henry was one of the last people there—hauling furniture out of the two houses that have served recently released inmates for the past three years.
It was only fitting; you see, Henry was the first client to live at Maud’s South. In fact, one of the things he carried out that day was the dresser he’d put his few belongings into on the day he was released from incarceration.
- Erin's Story: Resourceful Supporter Turns Used Accessories into Cash for Teen Shelter
Girls' night and accessory exchange benefit homeless teens at Crosswalk teen shelter
- Ken's Story: Teacher at Crosswalk Teen Shelter helps struggling students
“When you work with kids who are at risk and are challenged … I look for the good in them—because there’s good in all of them—and teach to that goodness.”
- Mark's Story: Local man shares resources, houses homeless
Spend five minutes with Mark Agee and you will never forget him. Mark brings a gregarious enthusiasm to everything he does. But ironically, his relationship with Volunteers of America began with a tragedy.
- Noah's Story: North Idaho "Dental Party" helps low-income teens
Noah Butterfield, 11, opened wide for Karla Marshall, a dental hygienist on contract with the Panhandle Health District (PHD), to examine his mouth for dental decay.
- Mary & Karen's Story: Custom Quilts Offer "Something to Hold onto"
Karen Buck and Mary Gardener are making dozens of customized quilts for Volunteers of America clients—the quilts come with a message of love: “it’s a physical reminder, ‘Hold on. You can do it.’”
- Roy's Story: Homeless Veteran Studies Prosthetics, Donates to Kids
This is a story about Roy and how the help you offered him caused a chain reaction of generosity.
- Lee Ann's Story: Rebuilding a life one step at a time
These days, you might find Lee Ann leading educational tours about homelessness in Spokane. She always stops at Hope House where she pauses in the same spot she stood in almost four years ago—outside the shelter doors in the dark of night.
- Bridget's Story: How I Learned to See
Bridget Cannon first encountered Crosswalk, an emergency shelter for teens, as a casual volunteer. But what she saw here changed her—and the direction of her life—forever. Read about her amazing story.
- Nancy's Story: Thirteen-year volunteer finds happiness at Crosswalk
Nancy Daly loves volunteering at Crosswalk—she even has the tattoo to prove it. After thirteen years. What keeps her coming back? “It just makes your heart feel happy,” she says.
- Alexis's Story: Journey from Homelessness to Law School
“There were times I wanted to give up and just crawl in a hole. I would read their encouraging notes [from the scholarship committee] and begin to cry because they believe in me and my abilities. I’d remember my dream of becoming an attorney, to help the Alexis's of the world, who just need someone to believe in them.”
- Dan's Story: Homeless Veteran Turns Volunteer
Dan spent more than a decade moving from one shelter to another—until a new start at our Rest & Recoup House for homeless veterans helped him rebuild his life. Now he’s found a way to use his unique skills to give something back. He might just inspire you to do the same.