Meet Anne: the Impact of Volunteering
Anne Nordwald is the persona of what makes Hillcrest Hope so special and successful. Beginning her story with the organization as a volunteer, she learned of our infinite need for hands and hearts to create such change. As she continued to dig into the role, she felt the pain of watching families struggle and experienced the daily reminder that hope is a need within all of us. Anne transitioned into a staff position, fully embracing the mission to strengthen families to build up our community. Now in her sixth year with us, Anne Nordwald looks back on the time and energy given and recalls what brought her to us in the first place.
Anne shares that she learned about Hillcrest Hope through her close friend, Melanie Gill. Melanie and her husband had been supporting Hillcrest Ministries for many years and believe in the mission of Hillcrest Hope. Anne had been looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity and found Hillcrest Hope to be just what she was looking for.
In 2010, Anne began volunteering in the Liberty office on Jewell Street. She met the different residents, hearing bits of their stories, and learning more about the change Hillcrest Ministries had been making in her own community for quite some time.
Anne admits that she was unsure what she would be encountering as a volunteer – the different family dynamics, unique family needs, and struggles of those living at Hillcrest Ministries. She was a little scared at first, offering her time and energy to a community she felt she knew little about.
Anne recalls a family she got to know early in her volunteering days. She saw the support, encouragement and accountability that Hillcrest Ministries provided. Through this, she saw the family grow. The mother of this family began to slip into old ways and make poor choices during her stay with us. Anne watched as staff and volunteers alike continued to try to work with this woman. She learned that, even when families don’t successfully complete the program, Hillcrest Hope still makes an impact each day, on each life.
That same year Anne began volunteering, she was asked to undertake the Hillcrest Ministries Christmas adoption program. This program engages generous donors in providing Christmas gifts for the graduates of Hillcrest Ministries. Having the opportunity to see so many from the community through businesses, churches, and local families support the graduate families of Hillcrest Ministries had a powerful influence on her. While she had sought out this opportunity to volunteer to have a positive effect on her community, Anne quickly realized the powerful effect it had on her.
Just as the Christmas adoption program was wrapping up, Hillcrest Ministries in Liberty made the decision to create a new position and began hiring for this administrative assistant. Anne knew she would like to start working again and loved the knowledge that this role would be making a lastly impact on families in need.
Anne came on at a pivotal time in the history of Hillcrest Ministries, when the old program properties in Liberty were sold and the new property on Grover Street was purchased, along with the thrift store. Anne played an integral role in getting both properties ready for operation and supporting each and every staff member in the transition. Anne’s newest title: program assistant. She is hands-on in event planning, financial gift tracking and recognition, program support, and still holds dear the opportunity to reconnect with our graduate families and wonderful donors each Christmas-time. We are so fortunate to have someone with such a huge heart for the program on our staff.
Anne shares that she has never had a job in which every day brought something different and new. She has found this to be enlightening while it is still hard work. The best part? “Every day is a new beginning for someone at Hillcrest Hope.”