I want everyone around me in this community to succeed, to get the tools they need, and to have hope, because there are a lot of things around us that can stop us from being optimistic.
I wanted to volunteer on-site and meet people in person. I found out about A Place Called Home through a website called Volunteer Match. I looked at APCH's mission and all their events. Everything looked great, so I had to check it out. That was three-and-a-half years ago.
After meeting the kids, who are so smart and just really cool, I kept coming back.
I get out of work early every Friday and go to A Place Called Home. That’s why I earned the name “Mr. Friday.”
The more I go back, the more I get to know the kids — their hobbies, their interests, their favorite subjects — and the more passionate I become.
I’ve known many of these kids since I started volunteering. At first, many just didn't seem happy, or they were really, really reserved. But, I’ve seen them grow mentally and vertically at A Place Called Home. So many of their lives have been changed.
On Friday, there is always a group of kids waiting for me to arrive. If I miss a Friday, the next time they’ll ask, “Where were you?” It’s so rewarding that they appreciate I’m there. They know they can count on me.
A Place Called Home is important. Not only are they providing educational tools, but it's also a safe haven for these kids to go to.
I can’t imagine what would happen to these kids without A Place Called Home. But thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that.
If you haven’t, you should volunteer at A Place Called Home, too. Find out more here.
— Mike (“Mr. Friday”)