Family Promise’s volunteers are an important piece of our mission, which is why our July Community Spotlight will highlight local Girl Scout and volunteer Maria Arostegui.
Although Maria began her Gold Award project with Family Promise earlier this year, she’s no stranger to volunteering for our agency.
Before the pandemic, Maria's family provided support and hospitality to our Shelter Program guests through their local church. This sparked her interest in helping families and individuals facing homelessness in our community, which she's putting into action through her Gold Award project today.
Learn more about her experience below!
Meet Maria Arostegui
When did you join Girl Scouts, and what level are you working toward?
I joined Girl Scouts when I was in kindergarten, and I am currently working on my Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, focused on helping the area sustainably through community involvement and leadership.
How did you get involved with Family Promise (FP)? And what sparked your interest in helping for your Gold Award?
Before the pandemic started, my family always volunteered at a local church in our town to serve dinner for the families at Family Promise. I had always loved spending time with families and their children, and I missed being able to do so. Getting involved in Family Promise for my Gold Award was the perfect way to continue helping out, and I was very happy when Mrs. Godown [Community Engagement Coordinator at Family Promise] agreed to my project.
Can you tell us about your project and what it involves?
The project is focused on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Family Promise. In turn, clients may receive all of the benefits that the organization has to offer at a greater and faster rate.
I am doing this by creating a digital inventory of the Day Center's donations, developing a "store" of essential items, and organizing the donations themselves. Throughout this process, I also hope to increase awareness of Family Promise by holding service days with young volunteers and holding activities at my local church and high school.
In 2-3 sentences, describe a positive experience you’ve had through your project.
I was fortunate enough to interview a former client of Family Promise, and it was incredible to hear her family's story from her and her children's perspectives.
Although I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of working on my project, the open conversation we had increased my eagerness to help Family Promise while also inspiring me in my personal life. It was wonderful to know that, through the interview, more people would be able to hear the former client's voice as well.
What do you like most about volunteering for FP?
I think that what I like the most about volunteering for Family Promise is seeing how much of a positive impact the organization has made, not only on the clients, but also on the staff and the young volunteers.
Everything the staff and volunteers do has a lot of thought behind it, and it is so special to see how much a community can help one another when working together.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read and write, but I also love baking and playing the piano.