Volunteer Spotlights

Apr 19, 2022 - Why I Volunteer


It's National Volunteer Week and we want to shine the spotlight on a few of our awesome volunteers.

Jon Nielsen Volunteer

Teacher, real estate agent and rockstar volunteer Jon Nielsen has been a volunteer with PCHAS since 2018. At the time he decided to pursue volunteering, Jon felt he had reached the time in his life to be a part of something greater than himself. 

"I have always wanted to help people in need, and when I found out that PCHAS had a program for women and their children, I thought that was a great opportunity for me to make a difference,” shared Jon. 

Volunteering for the Single Parent Family program made Jon realize how much joy children can bring to his life. 

“As a single guy without kids, even being around them for a short amount of time fulfills something in me that I didn’t know would be fulfilling before I became a volunteer. Working with the kids has brought me a tremendous amount of joy I wasn’t expecting," he said.

Jon’s favorite memory as a PCHAS volunteer was participating in an Easter celebration at the Waxahachie campus for the SPF clients. He says, “It was really fun to see the kids run around with smiles on their faces as they found the eggs we hid. It was a blast!” 

Jon “hated when COVID stripped us of opportunities to be able to help,” but was able to find new ways to be an important part of PCHAS. During Christmas, he partnered with a local connection, Century 21’s Judge Fite, to donate countless teddy bears to the children. He also stepped up in a big way and led two virtual life skills classes on home buying for clients in Texas and Missouri. 

"Being a volunteer has given me a better understanding that everybody out there is overcoming something in their life. I see that in the moms in the program. I see them trying to get to a better place and secure a better place with their children. Volunteering made me realize there are people overcoming challenging backgrounds, and doing a great job striving to get somewhere else and reach their dreams.” 

Kelsye Spell Volunteer

Kelsye Spell has been a dedicated PCHAS volunteer since 2018. While she has helped PCHAS and our families in many capacities, she has been especially helpful in assisting our single mothers in their search for employment opportunities. In Kelsye’s own words, “I volunteer with PCHAS because I was raised by a single mother whose sacrifices and hard work enabled me to pursue my dreams and be the first one in my family to graduate from college. It's an honor to work with moms at PCHAS and help them build resumes that highlight their skills and experience and use the opportunity to cheer them on and help them see their strengths and abilities.” 

Kelsye has worked with single moms at the Houston Single Parent Family program over the last 4 years. She has helped them strengthen their resumes, provided resources for job searches and also conducted mock interviews. In their journey towards securing a job, Kelsye has also helped clients focus on their own strengths and accomplishments, and building confidence in their own skills and abilities. Her encouragement and efforts have positively impacted and empowered the moms that she has worked with, and we are grateful to her for that. 

Kelsye wants to continue her engagement with PCHAS single mothers for as long as she can, saying “Jesus taught me through volunteering with PCHAS and especially the single mothers. A lot of times I get blinded and can't see all that he has given me. He has reminded me through it to be thankful in all circumstances and to speak the same encouragement and truth over myself as I do others.” 

Fuentes Volunteers

Meet PCHAS’ three teen, sibling volunteers! Gabriel Fuentes, and Kairina and Giovanni Perez.

The decision to volunteer for Gabe, Kai, and Gio was motivated by a special life experience. They are children of former PCHAS group home parents who witnessed firsthand what “impact in action” looked like. Helping others was part of their everyday life, and volunteers were part of their surrounding community. For Gabe, who was first a group home client and later adopted, his passion to give back comes from a direct impact on his own life. “…it was because of a volunteer that I learned to read among other things. I want to be that person for someone else.”

Kai also began giving back when she was younger. “I volunteered at a nursing home and I just loved working with them, reading, and playing games.” Her childhood, along with that of her brothers, displayed how volunteering can also make a difference personally. Her brother Gio shared, “I like knowing I did something for someone else. I’m still young and may be selfish at times, but not when I’m volunteering. I am doing something for someone else and that feels good.” Kai says, “I get to see the joy my volunteer work gives to others. I recently got to see how happy kids were to hunt for Easter eggs I filled. It made me happy to see them happy.”

When teenage life is already busy with school, sports, band, and family life, it’s so awesome that these three heroes stay motivated to give even more time to serve others. What matters most to them is bringing at least one day of happiness and joy to someone, and showing others their age that “volunteering is amazing.”

Kai captures the volunteer experience perfectly in saying, “Seeing the children and families have fun one day at a time. Seeing everyone coming together. I feel so honored to have this opportunity. I’m really glad that I’m able to connect more with people, grow even closer to my brothers, and make families happy one step at a time.”

arrow-lView All