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Connecting Through Words and Compassion: Everyone Has a Story

As a copywriter partnering with nonprofits and wellness professionals, I understand the power of storytelling and the impact it can have. However, my professional life is not defined solely by the words I write. Volunteering allows me to connect on a deeper level, bringing a human touch to my work while inspiring and building relationships I otherwise wouldn’t encounter.

Volunteering shatters misconceptions. It is through understanding humanity that I can convey my client/partner stories with empathy and authenticity. I’ve worked more than two decades on the front lines of social services, from child protection and children’s mental health to residential care and homelessness, but I am blessed to have volunteered in Canada, the U.S., Cuba, Jamaica, and Russia.

And I can tell you this - people all need the same thing. Others to come alongside them who care, who are compassionate, and who have the resources—or access to resources—to help.

Beyond the statistics and stories, I have had the privilege of meeting wonderful people who have faced unimaginable challenges, from loss to mental health battles and everything in between.

My wife and I recently volunteered in Columbus, OH, alongside friends from the Heaven’s Saints Motorcycle Ministry. We spent the day traveling through the city, visiting six locations to reach out to people experiencing homelessness. We provided clothing, a hot meal, a hot drink, canned goods, and other necessities.

And we met people. We talked with people. We prayed with people.

People like Derrick, who lost three grandchildren and worries about urban sprawl disturbing their eternal peace.

People like Bob, who doesn’t conform to societal expectations and choose to live in the woods.

People like Steve and Sherry who have been living in their van for 5 years because they can’t make ends meet to get a place of their own. They don’t want to live the #vanlife lifestyle…and it’s far from IG glamour.

Building Connections

Volunteering has transformed my approach to people, but also to storytelling. I discovered that truly knowing people, from the person serving me a cup of coffee to the homeless person I am serving coffee to, starts with listening intently to their stories. Each encounter gifts me with insights and perspectives that bring authenticity to my writing. These connections have shaped not only my work but also my perception of the world around me.

Inspiring Togetherness Through Volunteering

The friendships formed while volunteering have done more than inspire my writing. They have helped me understand the importance of building genuine relationships. Shared laughter, shared tears, and a willingness to help have fostered a sense of togetherness. Whether volunteering with the homeless, Special Olympics, a local youth program, or a senior’s program, we discover that we have more in common than expected. We all have basic needs to have food and shelter, but belonging is often forgotten. Our needs don’t revolve around “things and stuff.”

Overcoming Challenges Together:

Volunteering does not come without its challenges. Together, we navigate the complexities of life, overcome hurdles, and find creative solutions. These shared successes empower and reinforce our community's resilience and determination. My encounters with the homeless population have opened my eyes to their strength, resilience, and unwavering spirit. Their stories have become my stories, deepening the impact and authenticity of my words.

I invite you to join me on this journey of connection and impact. Whether through volunteering, supporting organizations, or amplifying their stories, your involvement matters. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most.

As a copywriter deeply involved with nonprofits and wellness, I realize that the power of words lies in the connections they create. Volunteering has revealed the importance of infusing my writing with true human experiences. Through listening, empathizing, and building relationships, including those experiencing homelessness, my writing is a vessel for authenticity and empathy.

I encourage you to embrace the human side of your own work and recognize the profound impact that caring for others can have on the stories we tell. Let us strive to bring humanity into our work and our words to make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve.


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