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October Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Ratz

October 18, 2021

We are excited to announce Michael Ratz as our October Volunteer Spotlight! Michael began volunteering with Broad Street Ministry in April of 2021 and has been with us ever since!

Michael has volunteered in a variety of BSM’s services but is a regular in our Clothing Closet service. Our Program Manager of our Clothing Closet and Community Hygiene said “Michael is an essential part of our Clothing Closet service.”

We asked Michael what brought him to BSM. He lives in Center City and noticed how many of his neighbors fled the city when the pandemic hit. “But I stayed….and before long it was just center city’s homeless population that remained and a handful of us residents. Week after week, it was made wholly clear to me I’d be unable to continue living here ignoring the neighbors after 2020 ended. Today I try to get to know everybody who is a regular around my block. I continue to make the effort to know them all on a first name basis”

Michael has an eventful past full of travel and overcoming challenges. Michael is Austrian and grew up in a familial house that has been around the last thousand years. He is a dual citizen of the United States and the European Union. He and his family have Roman roads crisscrossing our own, up through the Alps leading to Italy and Slovenia. They distilled apple cider, various draughts and spirits.

“When Michael is here, I know my day will be better.” said Colleen, our Community Hygiene Coordinator. Michael, thank you so much for all you do for our community. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without volunteers, like you!

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“I continue to come back to bsm because I love the experience. The online registration procedure is simple. These times I spend volunteering at bsm are the highlighted experiences that stand out most when I think back over a week and decide if it's been constructive or unconstructive... I look back on a week now and realize bsm is where I'm the happiest."