Hello Friends!

We can't believe that this year is almost over. While it has posed many challenges, we are setting our sights on a new year! We are so thankful for all of the support from our community, including you! Countless of our neighbors have been touched through your kindness and generosity. From coat drives to our Adopt-A-Family program, this fall has been full of opportunities to serve those around us. If you haven't had a chance to get involved, there will be many more opportunities in 2021!
Community Involvement
With the help of our generous community, our Coordinated Entry program hosted a blanket and warm apparel drive in November. Over 50 individuals in the Durham area were served, but countless additional lives were touched. Thank you to all that donated!
This month, we connected with Cody Turner, our Ministry Intern, to learn more about him and how the work he is involved with has impacted his life and our community.
Tell us about yourself: My name is Cody Turner, and I am originally from Nashville, TN. I grew up in a Christian, musical household, and went to Lee University to study Church Music for my undergraduate degree. After graduating, I served as the Pastor of Worship & Arts in a church outside of Asheville, NC for a short season. I’m going on three years living in the Triangle now, and I’ve loved my time here. I’m still involved with the music at my church—All Saints Anglican in Durham—and I’ve enjoyed all the things that the area has to offer.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I love anything related to quality time with family and friends, making memories, and sharing a good laugh. So, if anything can make those things happen, I’m in. I’m also a passionate sports fan. I’ve been a diehard Tennessee Titans fan since childhood, and—at the risk of alienating myself from many—I’m a passionate Duke basketball fan as well (Fun fact: I spent last year as a graduate usher at Cameron Indoor, so if you look at highlights from last season, you can catch glimpses of me leading cheers and taunts at the front of the graduate student section. I am definitely a Crazie!). Beyond that, I enjoy exercising, reading, and good conversations.

Where and what are you currently studying? This year, I’m finishing my Masters of Divinity at Duke Divinity School.
What drew you to your current area of study? As I served at my church in Asheville, I felt a tug to devote myself to “love the Lord my God with all of my mind” (to shorten Matthew 22:7). The church traditions I grew up in did a great job of training me to love the Lord with all my heart and soul. Then, I felt that it was time to allow the traditions of the Church and Scripture to shape my mind and imagination—to train me to “think Christianly.” So, I answered that call and enrolled at Duke Divinity, and it has transformed my life.

How have you been able to apply some of your learnings from school to your internship? I’ve noticed significant overlap between classroom discussions and some of the things that VOA seeks to accomplish. A recurring question in Christian theology is “What does it mean to be truly human?”—or, in other words, what does it look like for humans to flourish? A major thing that enables this flourishing to occur is for the Church to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ resurrection by providing for the needs and well-being of our neighbors. VOACC helps in this effort—especially through combating homelessness and working to heal moral injury. I’ve appreciated seeing this task carried out through the work of VOA.

What made you want to intern with VOACC? To be honest, the internship fell into my lap! My degree program requires me to do two internships over the course of my study. I had a fantastic internship in a conventional church setting over the summer. So, for my second one, I wanted to work in a different setting, and spoke with the Office of Field Education about non-profit ministries that I could get involved with. After learning about VOACC and all that it seeks to accomplish, I was excited to get involved and see how Volunteers of America fulfills our call to care for our neighbor.

How has this experience shaped or impacted your career goals? One of the things that this experience has done is remind me of the importance of partnering with ministries like VOA. In the coming years, whether I’m serving in a church context or otherwise, I’m realizing anew how important it is to strategically partner with an organization like VOA, for it enables a church or organization to work beyond its own walls and proclaim the Gospel by providing a better world for our neighbors in need.

What has impacted you the most since starting your internship with VOACC? I think the greatest impact I’ve experienced at VOACC is the opportunity to build great relationships with the people who work here. I’ve enjoyed the chance to pick their brains and to learn from them along the way. Further, the team’s willingness to seek my opinion and include me as a contributor in their conversations has been an incredible experience. I’m thankful for such an open and welcoming environment.

What advice do you have for other students considering an internship with VOACC? VOACC is a wonderful place with a great team of people! It is a great environment to learn, build relationships, and join in their efforts. To me, it’s greatest strength is the team’s willingness to welcome you in and involve you in the areas you would like to learn about. I’ve been able to join in on strategic conversations and be exposed to areas of non-profit work that were previously uncharted territory for me. I’m thankful for the experience!
Stay Connected: 

  • Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and to receive updates on our programs in the Carolinas! 
Upcoming Events: 

  • Virtual Maple Court Program Tour - Join us for a virtual tour of our Maple Court Veterans Transitional Housing Program and how this program has impacted the lives of local veterans. January 21st from 2-3pm via Zoom.
Current Needs: 

As a nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of the community around us to help us meet the needs of the vulnerable men, women, children and veterans we serve. Below some of the items we are in desperate need of to provide our clients the best possible services. 

  • HVAC System - With the change in season comes much cooler temperatures. Our Maple Court program is in need of a new HVAC system to ensure that our Veterans are kept warm in the winter. If you know an organization that would be willing to donate an HVAC system and to our program, please contact cfarmer@voacarolinas.org 

We’re all about connecting our giving neighbors with opportunities to be a blessing in the lives of those we serve. Below are different ways you, your family or your business can volunteer with us. 

Thank you for reading this edition of Caring Chronicles! If you would like to provide feedback or have any questions, please contact us at communications@voaches.org.