When we consider how individuals are being equipped for life through the ministries of ABCCM, we typically first consider the impact on the lives of those in need. It is incredible to learn that the impact doesn’t begin and end with those in need. Many ABCCM volunteers say they receive much more than they give when they serve through ABCCM. Alayna Graves, a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, is using her time and talents to bless ABCCM’s Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry while she prepares for her future career.
Alayna is currently studying Sociology with plans to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work. At the beginning of her sophomore year, during a community Day of Sharing, she worked at the Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry. After that great experience, she began serving regularly as a volunteer counselor. At the Crisis Ministry, Alayna gains skills to impact lives with short term solutions that make a long term difference. She is diligent, intelligent, and has an infectiously upbeat demeanor, so she quickly became a valuable asset.
As Alayna continued to spend more time volunteering, she thought it would be helpful for volunteers to have more detailed information about the services of other area nonprofits, since ABCCM works closely with other organizations and makes some referrals. She is constructing a referral guide, describing services of agencies and how we work together. This resource tool will help volunteers to be more efficient and will be a great training tool for new volunteer counselors. She is also reorganizing and streamlining information for clients who come to the Ministry for help. We are grateful for volunteers like Alayna who not only learn and grow in their own skills but also help us improve ours.
“By having this resource available I feel that volunteers will be better able to assist clients, not just with their crisis situation, but also with a more long-term plan.” said Alayna. “Having the opportunity to work with all the great people at ABCCM, while also working to enhance an already wonderful program, has made my time at ABCCM an incredible and enlightening experience. I really appreciate having the opportunity to improve the lives of others while simultaneously learning something from each new person I interact with. I look forward to continuing my work with ABCCM and applying what I’ve learned to my future in social work and non-profit work.”
“Alayna has been an absolute blessing for the Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry,” said Ian Williams, site coordinator for the Hominy Valley Crisis Ministry. “She is gaining valuable experience for her chosen path of social work by counseling clients and she provides our clients with compassionate, informed, well thought out guidance in order to mitigate their current crisis and help find a path towards self-sustainability.”
Alayna is using her God-given talents and personality to truly bless the clients, staff, and other volunteers of Hominy Valley. She is also coordinating with other UNCA students and assisting them to learn more about volunteering at ABCCM. This summer, Alayna is doing an internship at the ABCCM Servant Leadership Center, home of marketing, special events and the administrative offices of ABCCM.
Those of us at ABCCM are delighted that opportunities for people like Alayna are possible through your support of this ministry. As you support the overall mission of ABCCM, you are opening up opportunities for others to serve and be served in the name of Christ. Come join us as a volunteer and encourage your family and friends to serve with you. For more detailed information about the many ministry opportunities available at ABCCM, click HERE.