United Saints Long-Term Volunteer: Steve Kirchner
Say Hello to Steve!
“Like many others before me, I came to New Orleans to volunteer at United Saints with little to no idea of what to expect. After three months here, I can honestly say that it was one of the most personally rewarding decisions I’ve made.
An example of this is Ms. Pearl Richard, a client of United Saints. Ms. Pearl lives with her daughter and grandson in the same house she and her husband purchased many years ago. Unfortunately, he passed away several years ago and a combination of being in her 80’s as well as receiving a recent hip replacement, has slowed her down considerably. Her home was deteriorating rapidly, aided by damages sustained during hurricane Katrina. The foundation needed to be rebuilt; most of the siding required replacement, and the entire house was in dire need of painting. United Saints began work on her home recently.
The point I wish to make, however, is the level of appreciation Ms. Pearl has for the work being carried out by our volunteers. Her eyes seem to sparkle as she tells you about what the neighborhood ‘used to be like’, or as she brags about her grandson practicing his drums in preparation for being in next years’ Rose Bowl parade, or just chatting…and now her home is being fixed.
Make no mistake; life is not easy for Ms. Pearl and her family. Her present day neighborhood is so infested with drugs and crime that she can’t even allow her grandson to go outside to play. Finances are extremely tight and the work being done on her house would be out of the question without the assistance of the United Saints Recovery Project.
Ms. Pearl is very aware of this fact. Hers is just one example of the residents United Saints helps through the efforts of director Daryl Kiesow, the staff, and the countless volunteers from around the country and throughout the world.
Daryl is a quietly intense man who is passionate about what he does and why. He is someone you want to work for, and with. Yes, it’s an uphill battle, is often difficult and there are many logical reasons not to do this type of work, but Daryl has certainly convinced me, through his actions, that a difference can be made. With faith and a commitment to want to make a difference, anyone can enjoy the satisfaction that comes with having their own ‘Ms. Pearl experience’. “
Thank You United Saints.
July 28, 2012