Carrie Jackson, Chicago HOPES for Kids Volunteer of the Year!
Carrie learned about HOPES while looking for a tutoring opportunity, and our mission struck her as so much more impactful. When she initially started volunteering, she was aware of some of the issues surrounding homelessness but didn’t have a full understanding of the systemic failure or what resources were available. Spending time with our kids and their families has truly opened Carrie’s eyes and is something small but tangible she can do to help.
To Carrie, being a volunteer feels more meaningful than just donating money because she’s able to actually spend time and energy helping out. She can put names and faces to stories and statistics and holds herself accountable to showing up for the kids and staff every week. She loves the variety of projects and different ways of engaging the whole group, and she always walks away having learned something new.
Carrie has remained committed to volunteering with HOPES because her motivation for doing so lies within seeing our students grow each week. As a volunteer, she sees how her presence positively impacts our students. She sees their resilience and tenacity in spite of the challenges they are facing, and also sees them laugh and get to be regular kids. Spending time in a shelter so close to where she lives keeps her grounded and inspires her to make a difference any way she can.
Carrie’s work with our students has encouraged them to fall in love with reading while simultaneously having fun learning. We truly appreciate Carrie’s continued investment in both HOPES and in serving her community. We are thrilled to welcome Carrie back for another semester of programming!