Marilyn was one of the first regular volunteers in Bullhead City, long before Catholic Charities opened its new Legacy Foundation Christine Stamper Center for Help & Hope for those experiencing homelessness. The agency previously had a small office where the case managers worked and they collected and distributed donations and supplies.
Shelter Volunteer Brings Comfort to Others
With her can-do attitude, bright eyes and big smile, Marilyn volunteers at the shelter several days a week. Since her start in 2016, Marilyn has given 1,016 hours of her time to help the most vulnerable.
“Well, they said they needed help while I was at church, and so I came to help,” she said. But Marilyn has stayed with Catholic Charities for more than five years because she has found her second family.
“They are my family,” she says of her fellow volunteers from the local Methodist church. “We all started around the same time and several of us are still here.” Each day she comes in, Gary, a frequent overnight guest at the shelter, has her cup of coffee hot and ready for her just the way she likes it, which brings her tremendous comfort.
Marilyn lost her husband, an Air Force veteran, two years ago and her fellow volunteers and staff embraced her to help her through a difficult time. Originally, Marilyn moved to the area due to her asthma. She says the dry desert air has provided a much healthier environment for her. But it’s hard to be away from her three sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who live in other parts of the country. And she thanks God for her second family to give her that camaraderie.
Volunteer Finds Joy in Serving
Over the years, Marilyn has volunteered in multiple roles including helping in the kitchen, organizing donations and supplies, and her current role in the clothing area where she helps shelter guests find clothing that fits so they have clean clothes to change into after using the shower facilities at the shelter. “They can pick out two outfits each time, and I try to help them find something that looks nice and fits them. They are really grateful and it’s so nice to help,” says Marilyn.
The shelter is looking for more volunteers in numerous roles from kitchen help to going out with our outreach staff to provide supplies for the homeless out in the desert. Go to CatholicCharitiesAZ.org and click on “volunteer” to find available positions.