Volunteer Spotlight: Inn at Penn and Deirdre & Sandie

September 11, 2017

Deirdre and Sandie have become fast, familiar faces at Broad Street Ministry. On any given Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, you may see this pair bouncing through our doors, ready to spread radical hospitality. Deirdre and Sandie met 21 years ago as new mothers. Since then, they have been making conscious efforts to take their smiles out into the world.

For the past six years Sandie has been the Head of the BMPC Casserole Blitzes and says that BSM has been an important place for her to better understand how to make the most impact. “BSM has taught me so much more about hunger, causes, and ways to get involved and expand helping through radical hospitality.” After opening her eyes to others’ situations, Sandie has said “That could be me. I’m just lucky that I have the resources to help me.”

Deirdre was searching for a job but was having a tough time finding the right fit. After serving at the BSM Hospitality Collaborative, she realized that volunteering was the perfect job! “People are most effective when they tap into what they’re good at. For me, that’s utilizing my humor, empathy, and interpersonal skills.”

The concept of Radical Hospitality is very natural for Deirdre and Sandie, who love welcoming people into their homes, and always wonder that they can do to serve. They live by the idea that everyone should do what they’re good at, enjoy it more, and do it.

Sandie and Deirdre love coming to BSM because the staff, volunteers, and guests are genuinely nice, caring, and fun to talk with. “It’s a great place to make new friends!” They both remark on how easy and flexible the sign up process it, and of course, the great music. They are hopeful for a future to make a difference with one small step at a time. “If everyone spends small amount of time each day, week, month, year using their strengths to make a difference and help others, we could hopefully make the world better.” Together, Sandie and Deirdre have completed over 250 volunteer hours!

The Inn at Penn has been a key partnership to Broad Street Ministry since 2015. Every last Friday of the month, the Inn at Penn corrals volunteers who make the trip over to BSM to serve in the Hospitality Collaborative. Together, the Inn at Penn has volunteered over 350 hours! Here’s what Jim Salvo, General Manager of the Inn at Penn, has say about the volunteering experience:

I always look forward to joining my team in participating with the lunch service on a monthly basis. As we try to have different members of our team engage each month, it inspires me each time. I make it a point to grab an Uber or taxi together each time we participate with the lunch service on Fridays – the conversations on the ride down are typically “self centered” and is driven around what everyone has planned for the weekend etc. However, once the meal service is complete and we are all driving back – it is amazing how the conversation changes and is dominated by the experiences (some funny and some perhaps not so much) that each person realized within the short time they were at BSM. It truly grounds you and puts things into perspective about how fortunate we are, as well as leaves a “feel good” feeling of being able to help those in need – even if it was just for a couple of hours.

Jim Salvo is also a member of the BSM Hospitality and Corporate Council. This year, they will be providing all of the center pieces used to decorate our dining room for the 2nd Annual Be Our Guest Event. We are so gratfeul for the Inn at Penn being such a committed, compassionate, and reflective bunch. They have found so many ways to share their love to BSM, and we hope this spotlight serves to show them some love back.