My employer, ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation, provided several community volunteer opportunities and on April 17, 2015, I had my first experience with HopeFest. There were about 20 of us that arrived to help organize the area that would be used for medical exams and care. I remember being surprised by the size of the operation and how many different needs were being met around the building. Before we began to work, Charlotte took us aside and gave us a brief foundational understanding of the mission to serve those in need with dignity which shifted my thinking from a volunteer mentality to one of being a partner.
My involvement continued in 2016, and I was placed in charge of managing our college’s volunteer involvement. This allowed me to attend several of the HopeFest planning committee meetings where again I was struck by all the people and organizations that came together to work for a common goal.
Involvement with HopeFest is life-changing – I volunteered to help others, but my time spent giving was also for my benefit. It expanded my world, helped me see others in a different light, and invited me to ask myself what skills did I have to offer to take something that was and enhance it. The event goes beyond talking – it breathes dreams into action. I am looking forward to being involved again in 2019.