Devoted to helping others

"Coalition for the Homeless Volunteer"

The desire to volunteer is a feeling many people have at least once in their life. Some follow through and lend a hand once or twice, but a commitment to volunteering on a regular basis can be rare.

Mary Bivin is one of the few who has found a way to do it. When she is not caring for her mother, taking piano lessons, or exercising, she is dedicating her time to helping others.

Before finding Coalition for the Homeless, Mary helped her church rebuild two houses for local families who had been impacted by multiple hurricanes. This was no easy feat, but Mary showed up and worked every single day until the houses were completed. Accustomed to the routine and satisfaction of volunteering, Mary was ready for her next project.

A pamphlet provided by her church led Mary to the Coalition. She read about the need for volunteers and quickly contacted us, eager to help in any way she could.

There are a variety of ways for people with different skill sets to get involved with the Coalition. As a retired supervisor for the Orlando Utilities Commission, Mary felt her skills would be best utilized in our administrative office. One of her most important duties as a volunteer is tracking the Coalition’s meal service data. A few of Mary’s other tasks include producing staff and volunteer ID badges, placing reminder phone calls to our meal service groups, and filing.

Administrative volunteers are very important to the Coalition because they focus on day-to-day office and clerical tasks, allowing our staff to be more efficient.

Mary has helped the Coalition tremendously, but she has also received much in return. “I, too, benefit from volunteering. I have developed skills that I didn’t have. I don’t work directly with the clients, but I feel like I am making a contribution. I’m helping out in an area that needs the help,” she says.

After seven years, Mary is still faithful to volunteering every Tuesday for at least five hours—starting at 6:30 a.m. Talk about dedication!