We recently got to talk with volunteer Gail Bergsven about her experience at The Dignity Center. She offered the following reflection about her time with us:
The Dignity Center has been part of my life for the past 15 years. I was there when we set up in Sunday school rooms with dividers and we gave out a lot of bologna sandwiches. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with The Dignity Center in a variety of ways: as an advocate and as the chair of different committees including the program committee, the fund development committee, and the network church committee.
I have observed the Dignity Center go through several stages of ministry, starting with an idea and then going through some turbulent times with growing pains. For a time there was a period of decline before The Dignity Center evolved into a more mature, stable organization. Now, The Dignity Center is not only surviving during COVID-19, it is thriving during COVID-19 with persistence and creativity.
Throughout the different manifestations of The Dignity Center, some things never changed. We have always worked to get people in poverty on a path to stability, we just didn’t always do it in the same way.
The Dignity Center has always been about relationships: relationships with the participants, relationships with metro churches, and relationships with community-based organizations. Now, Mary has done a remarkable job building relationships with colleges and universities to secure interns who earn academic credit while working at The Dignity Center. In addition, Todd continues to develop strong relationships with vendors.
As I reflect on why I stay connected to The Dignity Center, I realize that my reasons for staying haven’t changed either. My connection to The Dignity Center is all about the work itself, the participants, and the other volunteers. For me, the bottom line is that I have learned a lot more from volunteering at The Dignity Center than I ever contributed.
Thank you, Gail, for all that you bring to The Dignity Center! We are blessed by your presence and ministry with us.