Yoliswa

Why did you get involved originally, what made you want to volunteer and why Martha’s Table?

“I moved with my husband (who is American) from South Africa to the US in April 2012 and to Washington DC in October 2012. I love that DC is so cosmopolitan. It reminds me of Cape Town. I’ve been a volunteer at Martha’s Table since June 2013, for 2 days a week. I also volunteer at Reading Partners twice a week and at SED where I’m hoping to learn Spanish.

I’m not working and I had been thinking about doing volunteer work. One day we happened to walk past Martha’s Table. I looked them up and saw the great work they do in the community. I was very impressed by the range of programs offered at Martha’s Table, especially the educational/academic programs. I’m passionate about education and development of children. I started as a volunteer for the food prep program. In August, Meaza asked if I could accept clothing donations at the Outfitters as they needed assistance there and I’ve been doing that since. I love being a volunteer here.”

Is there a moment that stands out in your mind about your volunteer experience, with another volunteer or with our staff?

“One moment that stands out is when they provided cold water on an extremely hot day and more recently, hot tea on a cold day for passersby. It said a lot about the serving heart of the people at Martha’s Table. It may seem like a small thing, but I think lots of people appreciate that. I love the fact that Martha’s Table is changing the lives of children and the local community. Everyone who works here is so nice, they always greet me with a smile, including the CEO. Meaza Yalew and her big smile is always welcoming and Ms. Debbie at the front desk is always so friendly. Working at the Outfitters, I get to meet a lot of donors. I’m always struck by how much they appreciate what Martha’s Table is doing.”