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A Day in My Life as a Cincinnati Mercy Volunteer

Hi, I’m Grace Sanford, a Mercy Volunteer in Cincinnati, Ohio! I’ve been journaling every day since I arrived here, and I’d love to share a glimpse of my typical day during my volunteer year.

Today, my day began at 8:30 AM as my alarm went off, and sunlight flooded into my room. I like to start with reflection and prayer, reading my daily Bible passage before getting ready. I followed up with a quick Pilates workout, got dressed, and made a peanut butter bagel for breakfast. Then, I packed my lunch and headed out, fortunate that my service site, Lydia’s House, is a short walk away.

Today at Lydia’s House was special as we welcomed two new guests. I had prepared their paperwork the day before, and it was my privilege to give them a tour of the shelter. Afterward, I helped them with more paperwork while my colleague, Julie, looked after their kids. My supervisor, Meridith, came to assist, which I greatly appreciated. The work here, interacting with these women and their children, is profoundly meaningful to me. Noon brought us all together for prayer, a unique aspect of Lydia’s House that I value. It allows us to pause and be grateful. The sense of community among the volunteers, even on weekends, is something I cherish, especially in this new place. The rest of the day was spent assisting Mary Ellen, my other supervisor, in the intake process, reviewing applications, and conducting interviews. We house women aged 18-35 with young children or expecting children, ensuring their safety through a thorough screening process. I conducted two interviews alone for the first time, both going well. The day concluded with our favorite time, the community dinner at the shelter! We prayed, enjoyed a chicken casserole prepared by my friend Ashley, and shared stories. Afterward, I walked home and spent time with my fellow community member Sudha, discussing our days and planning for the weekend, including a visit to a nearby Hindu temple. Sudha practices Hinduism, so I’m excited to learn more about it and experience attending a service with her. After dinner, we watched our show, “The Ultimatum,” and then headed to bed.

It was a great day, and I look forward to tomorrow. My experience with Mercy Volunteer Corps has been enlightening, and I’m excited to continue learning, growing, and building community throughout the year.

Grace Sanford: Cincinnati, Ohio

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