CHI Au Pair Elisabet Requena Gómez, from Spain, spends her free time volunteering at Safe Haven. Safe Haven, housed through First Christian Church, in Falls, Church, VA, is a day shelter for people who are homeless, hungry or in need of a place to respite.
Elisabet volunteers at the front desk where she greets everyone that arrives and puts them into the computer system. She gives them an introduction to the shelter and often helps translate between English and Spanish. Safe Haven was established in 1996 and has grown from serving 15 people per day to an average of over 150 every Thursday. Services have also expanded to include haircuts, a clothing closet and basic medical advice.
When asked why she spends her free time volunteering at Safe Haven, Elisabet said, “Working there is an incredible experience for me. I’ve met many volunteers, they are the gentlest people who I’ve ever met. Every Thursday, all of them work very hard for the same purpose, help the people in need. Furthermore thanks to these people in need who come every week and show us all their gratitude, I realize we have to be thankful every single day of our lives composed of healthy, facilities and love.”