An AmeriCorps program connecting service members and under-resourced communities throughout Washington state
My name is Sara and I have been serving with The Women’s Hearth Transitions. We are typically a drop in center for women who are low income or experiencing homelessness. Now that we are living in this time of covid, things have shifted for me in how I am able to serve. The Women’s Hearth is typically a place where folks can hang out during the day, especially if they are staying in a shelter that is closed during the day. In this time of shelter in place, our local women’s shelter had to move into a larger facility to accommodate for social distancing and a 24/7 model instead of just a night shelter. Our center had to close but our team has partnered with the shelter to help implement day programming and activities.
I have had the privilege to serve at the 24/7 shelter site 3 days a week doing crafts, origami and bingo. These are activities that many of the women enjoy doing at The Hearth so being able to bring the activities to them has been really special. The most popular activity that I help with has been bingo. We have a stash pile of bingo prizes at the Hearth so I have been able to bring prizes and make sure that everyone wins something. Last week I had 13 ladies join me for bingo and we were all smiling, laughing and having a good time together. It seemed like such a nice distraction for these women who are dealing with a lot right now.
When I serve at the shelter, I have also been able to assist the shelter staff with various tasks that help lighten their load just a little. Everyone is going through a really tough time right now and I feel good knowing that I am helping to brighten someone’s day even just a little. The coming weeks are going to be difficult as we try to determine how we can safely open back up and serve vulnerable women. This time has been hard but knowing that we have been able to provide some warmth and light has been a good feeling.