The Heart and Soul of Volunteering

At two NHPF properties, Mark Twain in Chicago and St. Luke’s Plaza in St. Louis, two women found purpose and fulfillment in the embrace of volunteerism. Angela Williams (left) and Winona Butler (right), residents of these two communities respectively, embarked on a journey of service which not only enriched their own lives but also transformed the fabric of their communities.

Operation Pathways, the onsite service provider subsidiary of NHPF, provides residents the tools, resources, and coaching they need to achieve housing stability and meet their academic, financial, and wellness goals. Angela, a cheerful and dedicated member of Mark Twain, first dipped her toe into volunteering by assisting with various activities and events organized by the RSC at Mark Twain. Her eagerness to contribute eventually led her to take on a more significant role in the development and execution of these programs.

Similarly, Winona, a proud mother and longtime resident of St. Luke’s Plaza, found renewed purpose and connection through her involvement with Operation Pathways. Initially drawn to the community store, Winona’s curiosity about resident programming led her to join the Operation Pathways Resident Advisory Council (OPAC), where her enthusiasm and commitment quickly became invaluable assets.

As Angela and Winona immersed themselves in the vibrant tapestry of community life, they discovered the profound joy that comes from giving back. Angela’s infectious enthusiasm and warm personality sparked a newfound interest among fellow residents, breathing life into events and activities that brought neighbors together in camaraderie and friendship.

Meanwhile, Winona’s dedication and passion for service shines brightly as she volunteers tirelessly for community initiatives, from staffing the community closet store to organizing events that celebrate the diverse talents and cultures within St. Luke’s Plaza. Her leadership within the OPAC not only brings valuable insights but also fostered a sense of unity and purpose among committee members.

One memorable highlight of Winona’s experience was the collaborative effort to host a Resident Potluck dinner for the Christmas holiday, an idea championed by Winona and embraced by the entire community. With her unwavering determination and knack for rallying support, Winona ensured that the event was a resounding success, leaving hearts full and spirits lifted as residents came together to share laughter, food, and festive cheer.

Reflecting on their experiences, both Angela and Winona expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on their communities and as they continue their journey of service, Angela and Winona know that the threads of kindness they weave into the fabric of their communities will endure and make a difference.

Where Angela Williams and Winona Butler live matters.

St. Luke’s Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri
The Mark Twain, Chicago, Illinois