This winter break, in my hometown of San Diego, CA, I wanted to help out our local homeless shelter in Escondido, California. The shelter is called “Interfaith Community Services”. Needs constantly vary for members of Interfaith. When I reached out, they especially needed home items to help members transitioning from the shelter into a new apartment, who had nothing to furnish it with.

I reached out to my neighborhood through an app called “Nextdoor” and explained to them what Interfaith needed, hoping to encourage my neighbors to get involved. I then picked up donations from their houses and later took them to the shelter with everything else I collected for Interfaith.

When I spoke on the phone with volunteer coordinator, Micki Hickox, she told me that in addition to the home furnishings like dressers, lamps, and queen-sized bedding, that they could use new beanies due to the cold weather as well as new socks. Shocking, I know, but it can get cold in San Diego too!

After hearing this, my mom and I drove to Sears and Costco and bought beanies, gloves, and socks.

Since my neighbors could not provide any lamps, we bought two used lamps to add to the donation.

We also had a lot of extra bedding that fit queen beds, which worked out great! We were instructed to make sure the bedding was clean, so we began washing all the comforters, sheets, pillowcases, and blankets.

Finally, when we finished drying all of the bedding, we loaded up the car with our two lamps, bedding, beanies, gloves, and socks, and my neighbor’s donation of bathroom towels and headed to Interfaith to drop them all off.

The man working the warehouse that Saturday helped us cart the items in and thanked us for our donation. Rob Shover, whose official title is, “warehouse assistant”, was especially grateful for our donation of the lamps and bedding because the shelter had not received enough of those for their transitioning members.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to help those in my hometown community in need. It was especially exciting for me to know that I was helping someone step out of the shelter and move in to his or her own apartment. I can’t imagine what it would be like to finally sign the papers for an apartment, but not have anything to put in it. I’m glad I could help provide these things so that they could focus their money on food or saving it up.

Notre Dame’s foundation is to serve the community, and our team especially places a high value on recognizing the privilege we have as student-athletes at a prestigious university and the power we have to make a positive impact on those in our community.

Being a part of Notre Dame Softball has taught me the importance of giving back and engaging with your community. You learn the potential you have to positively influence others.

I think my favorite part about donating to Interfaith Community Services was getting to help out people who live in the same town as I do, and hoping my small donation takes something off of their plate so that they can pursue things in life beyond their basic needs.


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