from Shelby Bell and Team
of the THRIVE Program
THRIVE volunteers are intentional, dedicated, and sacrificial. Stepping into a relationship with our young adults is not always easy, but you all have jumped with two feet into the messiness of life with us.
Thank you for being willing to not just dedicate your time, but your hearts. Our young adults don’t just want your donations, they want a relationship, and that is what you all have provided. Thank you for coming and being a part of our lives. Thank you for coming and playing games and laughing with us, or coming and teaching us life skills, or sitting over coffee and listening to our stories.
Life is better shared, thank you for sharing yours with us.
of the RESPITE Program
To the RESPITE volunteers, thank you so much for how you show up for families who need to know that they are seen and valued. You exhibit compassion as you choose to come alongside families who are healing from trauma.
You show humility by taking on seemingly mundane, practical tasks for families who are overwhelmed. When you choose to slow down and truly listen to our families, you show empathy, which communicates to them just how valuable they are.
Thank you for being a supportive community to foster, adoptive & kinship families so they do not have to feel like they are doing it alone. We at OC United appreciate you!
of Jobs for Life
Jobs for Life would never be able to do what it has done without the contributions from you who volunteer in the many ways that you do.
You who are champions are the backbone of our work and success, the “secret sauce” of JfL. You consistently go above and beyond to meet the needs of our students. You meet regularly with them as friends and mentors, pray with and for them, drive them to job interviews, to hospitals and doctors. You help them purchase clothing for job opportunities, rehearse their interviews with them, walk alongside them in their tough times and offer encouragement when they were down.
You’re willing to experience frustration, excitement, disappointment, fulfillment, confusion and determination as you help them process their journeys. Your work is some of the most difficult that can be done, because it’s messy, it doesn’t always have defined edges or clear borders, because it can be tough to find success and when you do, that success may be in small measure. But you treasure that victory and hold it closely because you know it represents growth and hope. For them and for yourself. And for others who help us with logistics, with preparation for our special events, with participation on our prayer teams, thank you for what you do. The part you play makes the success of our students possible.
I thank God for each of you as you serve those who are too easily undervalued by most in our world. Your hearts reflect the heart of the Lord you follow. May God bless you as you continue to pour your lives into those who need hope, dignity and opportunity.
of United Kids & Teens
We are thankful for our United Kids volunteers because of how much love they pour into our elementary kids. On our week back, they quickly noticed their absence and began asking where each of them were by name. Our kids know that when they are around our United Kids volunteers, they’ll find caring adults that are patient when they need support, compassionate when they are hurting, and thoughtful in how they speak and interact with them.
We are thankful for our United Teens mentors and how they consistently show up to walk through life with our teenagers in Valencia Park. Our teenagers have missed them throughout COVID, jumping at any opportunity to talk with them or see them. Our United Teen mentors are listeners who hear what our teens are actually trying to communicate, compassionate in feeling our teenagers’ pain alongside them, and understanding in walking through success and challenges with our teenagers.
From our Executive Director
I just want to express my deep appreciation for the work each of our volunteers brings to our programs and events at OC United. Please know that you are at the heart of who we are. We invite compassionate and loving people to come alongside others who need a friend or hand up and together we are changed. Thank you for joining us in this great work.
– Jay Williams