Volunteer Spotlight: Brie Logsdon
May 12, 2019
We are always grateful for all of our volunteers who help make the services at BSM possible each week. Below volunteer Brie Logsdon reflects on her time at BSM:
When I began volunteering at Broad Street Ministry (nearly) two years ago, I had no idea it would be the one aspect of Philadelphia I would miss most when I left.
I first volunteered with some of my students for a class I taught at University of the Arts. After the program dissolved, I found myself returning to BSM week after week hoping to emulate and extend the sense of community I felt – a sense of community I didn’t realize I missed when I moved from Kentucky five years ago.
BSM seems to have some magical ability to narrow a city full of thousands of fleeting moments into meaningful individual interactions. I’ve spent most of my time as a personal shopper with the wonderful 315 Threadz crew, who have become my dear friends. I’ve loved helping guests find the perfect article of clothing – sometimes a much-needed coat for winter, sometimes a shirt too fabulous to pass up – but what I’ve loved more are the little insights into their lives and personalities they’ve entrusted me with. I’ve been lucky to celebrate graduations with proud parents, discuss nerves about new jobs, and continue running jokes with old friends. “I’ll see you in two weeks to pick up my new Armani suit!” I’ll see you in two weeks.
Now, I’m weeks away from moving to a new state and starting a business with my husband. I feel like I’m leaving something behind, but I think I should be planning how to take a part of BSM with me. How can I fold the concept of radical hospitality into my work, into my daily life? Here’s my best guess: It’s about facing each interaction with a mindset rooted in empathy and truly believing that everyone brings something to the metaphorical table. It’s about being vocal and open with gratitude and respect.
This isn’t a goodbye, but it is a thank you. Thank you to the staff and other volunteers I’ve had the pleasure of working and laughing with each week. Thank you to the guests for being so open and honest, and encouraging me to be open as well. I feel like I’m walking away with so much more than I ever offered, and that’s because each person who walks through the doors contributes a part of themselves that builds others up.
Thank you for letting me be a part of it.