March Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Gard, Leanna Graham, and JD Graham

March 8, 2022

There is something so special about all the people who make up Broad Street Ministry’s unique community. People who lead with kindness, serve others with love, and dedicate their work to the community. We are especially grateful for three individuals who have demonstrated these values for the past seven years!

Mary, Leanna and JD are one of our volunteer “dream teams,” and every Thursday we can count on this dream team to show up for our community. We’re thrilled to share Mary Gard, Leanna Graham and JD Graham as this month’s volunteer spotlight!

The trio first heard of Broad Street Ministry at an ordination service, and after listening to a former BSM staff member speaking with such enthusiasm, they decided they had to check it out for themselves! And we’re so lucky they did. When first arriving at BSM, they were greeted with a big smile and a warm handshake by none other than our notorious Facilities Manager, Dwayne. They describe this interaction as “the beginning of joy for us.”

We asked what they like about volunteering with BSM and there were several overall themes.These themes include the ability to spend time with the staff and learn more about the challenges people experiencing homelessness face; seeing how the programs are run; and the overall energy of the space.The most significant theme that stood out was being able to connect with the community. “The opportunity to experience the blessings of working directly with the guests and the meaningful relationships we have built. Every single thing…welcoming hands, hearts and minds.”

A response from this group of wonderful volunteers struck me because it really encapsulated BSM’s values of hospitality, curiosity and compassion. When we asked what keeps you coming back, “The staff, vibes, the guests and learning something new every time we come.”

Mary, Leanna, and JD volunteer in our Mail service every week. Our Mail Service helps approximately 3,200 each year to establish residency, receive benefits and get photo identification. It is a vital service and these volunteers are essential to our operations. We would not be able to do what we do with them. 

Mary, Leanna, and JD, thank you for everything you do.