We ask volunteers and donors why they choose to support Catholic Charities: Board Member Alan Holmer shares about making a difference with his volunteerism and the impact it has on his faith.
How did you get involved in Catholic Charities?
I spent 30 years living comfortably with my family in McLean, oblivious to the hidden poverty in our diocese – the couples living in tents in the woods right off Route 50, or the homeless men living at Christ House in Alexandria, all who desperately need a helping hand.
In 2006, I met Sally O’Dwyer who currently serves as Director of Volunteers for Catholic Charities. She is an excellent recruiter and had me hooked.
What exactly do you do in your volunteer roles?
I’ve helped out at Christ House in a bunch of different ways like mentoring the men and teaching a Ready to Rent class so they are prepared to be tenants when they leave. Like all Catholic Charities programs, we want Christ House to be truly transformative… not just a period of respite with a bed and free meals.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to also serve in leadership roles—as the Finance Chair on the Board of Directors and as the Special Gifts Chair for the 2015 Catholic Charities Ball.
Why do you choose to donate your time and resources to Catholic Charities?
The more I learned about the breadth and depth of Catholic Charities’ programs, the more I could see how much is already being done for the poor in our diocese, but also how much- more could be done with more resources. Catholic Charities is an extremely efficient organization with 88 cents of every dollar going to serving the poor.
What do you find most rewarding about being involved with Catholic Charities?
Frequently, I have found that volunteering has broadened my heart, sometimes it breaks my heart, and has deepened my Roman Catholic faith.
I find the experience tremendously fulfilling.