By: Allie Wenzel, Loaves & Fishes Intern
After retiring from his career in engineering and management, current Loaves & Fishes volunteer MJ had a desire to do something meaningful for his community. He couldn’t figure out exactly what that was until he went in for a haircut and his hairdresser suggested volunteering at Loaves & Fishes. MJ has now been at Loaves & Fishes for 3 years where he has volunteered in many areas, but has currently been involved with the CARES Programs, specifically as a job coach. His tasks go beyond resumes and cover letters. His goal is to understand the client’s barriers and from there, help them gain confidence, clarify their job options, and help them understand other available resources. Every client has a story, but one that impacted MJ was a client that was not proficient with computers. This became an obstacle when both job applications the client needed to fill out were online. After working with MJ for hours on these online applications, the client had received two job offers. It’s a great feeling when, as MJ says, “a client calls and says they got a job offer because you know you’ve helped make a difference in their lives.” This motivates MJ to continue volunteering because he has the desire to help people succeed. His time at Loaves & Fishes has opened MJ up to a whole other side of life than his career in corporate America. Although his work had taught him many important values, volunteering has taught him where the real well-being of people comes from. MJ wishes he had figured out the joy in giving back through volunteering earlier in his life, but we are lucky he has found his place at Loaves & Fishes to help others in the community. We thank MJ for his hard work and dedication in making a difference in the lives of others.