Starting a Volunteer Journey at CARITAS
CARITAS is able to change lives and improve our community in large part thanks to the efforts of volunteers. Each year, more than 18,000 volunteers help CARITAS stretch the dollars of its donations and extend the reach of the hands of our staff members.
CARITAS recently celebrated the holidays with staff and volunteers. One volunteer got a well deserved surprise as we honored him with the Wally Stettinius Volunteer of the Year award.
Tim Regan volunteers 40 hours a week in the CARITAS Works program. He first began volunteering at CARITAS four years ago as a mock interviewer. Long-time CARITAS volunteer and supporter Barry Moore introduced Tim to the opportunity.
“I was so blown away by how well prepared the men were,” Tim said. “When I told my wife, she was also impressed.”
The father of three had previously worked in nonprofits in addition to volunteering and spending 20 years as a stay-at-home dad.
“CARITAS stretches a dollar as best as you can,” he said. “The results of this program also creates so much value for the community.”
Becoming a Full-time Team Member
When Tim’s youngest daughter went to college, he had the opportunity to volunteer full-time. When he asked Works Program Director Marilyn Milio if she could use his help, she welcomed him to take on the challenge. As of December 2016, Tim has volunteered approximately 1,500 hours with CARITAS.
“My favorite moments are when I see a student finally get that they are worth it, that they deserve a chance,” Tim said.
Tim approaches his work with CARITAS as any staff member would. He is truly a member of the CARITAS team. The Works program is an intensive job readiness and life skills program that helps men and women overcome their circumstances and forge pathways to lasting success. Tim says the most important tools the Works program offers men and women are a sense of worth and value.
“It’s definitely not your typical 9-to-five,” he said.
What Works Students Say about Tim
When students graduate, Tim says he feels as though they become a part of his family. Many of them feel the same. A few had kind words to share about Tim:
“He has a great sense of humor, which is very helpful for people like me who have experienced homelessness and addiction. I knew that Tim really cared about my well being, my character development, and my job readiness.” – Robert, CARITAS Works Class 48
“He was always willing to help me or talk even when he was busy. I always appreciated his constructive criticism whether it was when advising me on resume edits or even advice for my future endeavors… I could always expect a smile from him even during those times when I tried his patience.” – Jacob, CARITAS Works class 47
“I get as much from them as they get from me,” said Tim Regan.
Tim’s daughter and wife both attended the surprise presentation in December. Following his example, each of Tim’s children make time to volunteer. While not everyone can volunteer full time, Tim believes everyone has the responsibility to give back.
“When you are getting paid, you don’t get to make certain choices,” Tim said. “I’ll eventually be back in the working world, but for now I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”