Lighthouse Mission Volunteering: Peggy’s Story

We interviewed one of our wonderful volunteers, Peggy. Her experience volunteering at Lighthouse Mission’s Base Camp is an insight into the kind hearts of people like Peggy.

LMM: When did you first volunteer?

Peggy: Let me tell you how I came to volunteer. I worked for 25 years in the court system and interacted with many of the individuals that Lighthouse Mission serves. As I was nearing retirement three years ago, I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere meaningful. Some of my clients had been residents or guests of the mission, and being a believer, I decided that’s where I wanted to volunteer. I retired in June 2021, but due to COVID, they weren’t taking volunteers. So, I actually started in July 2022.

LMM: Do you volunteer non-stop?

Peggy: Every Tuesday afternoon, I volunteer at Base Camp. I started in the front office but soon found a need in the shower area, which I now manage every Tuesday afternoon.

LMM: What do you like about working in the shower area?

Peggy: I like it. It’s a peaceful place, and I get to know the regulars who come through on Tuesdays. Short conversations and interactions with them and other volunteers, like Larry, who manages the laundry, make it rewarding. The shower area gives guests a sense of dignity by allowing them to get cleaned up, and they are often very appreciative.

LMM: What keeps you coming back to volunteering?

Peggy: The appreciation from the staff is motivating, as they find it helpful to have someone managing the showers, freeing them up for other tasks. Seeing the guests’ gratitude and their kindness to each other is very fulfilling. It’s a simple task, but it seems to make a significant difference.

LMM: Is there a particular type of person who volunteers at the Lighthouse Mission?

Peggy: People who volunteer at Base Camp or Lighthouse Mission often want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a practical way. It requires a bit of persistence to find where you fit in and can be most helpful, like I did with the showers.

LMM: What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering?

Peggy: Hang in there and find your space. There are many volunteer opportunities at Lighthouse Mission, from being a barista to other roles. It might take some persistence to find what fits for you, but the staff appreciates the help, and you can make a practical difference in addressing homelessness and addiction.

LMM: Do you feel equipped for the base camp environment?

Peggy: You have to experience it to know if you’re equipped. If you have an aversion to interacting with people on the streets, Base Camp might not be a good fit. However, there are other ways to serve, and I encourage everyone to try and find where they can help.

LMM: Do you participate in other programs at the Lighthouse Mission?

Peggy: Starting in May, I’ll be facilitating a coping with anger class at the New Life Center. It’s a shorter version of a program I help facilitate in the court system, focusing on helping individuals learn skills for coping with anger.

LMM: Any last-minute thoughts?

Peggy: One touching experience was seeing a guest help another put on socks. Moments like these, where guests show compassion despite their struggles, are what keep me coming back. It gives hope to see kindness in tough conditions.

LMM: Thank you for sharing your story and for your time.

Peggy: You’re welcome.

Ready to make a difference? Volunteering at Lighthouse Mission Ministries in Bellingham offers an opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in need. Join us in providing essential services and support to the homeless community. To start your volunteering journey, click here to sign up today. Your time and effort can bring hope and dignity to those who need it most.

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OUR MISSION : Healing homelessness with Christ's power and love