Volunteer Highlight: Patience Liss
"Before I found God, I thought that other people put themselves in their situation and they didn't deserve help. But once I understood that God is love, I realized that no matter how low a person has gone, He's still reaching out to them. No matter what they've done they can still transform their lives. That's what motivates me to keep volunteering."
Patience Liss, an Indianapolis native with a bright and talkative personality, always wants people to know that God loves them. That's why she and a few other women from the Glendale Seventh Day Adventist church volunteer with Volunteers of America of Indiana; they want women with difficult backgrounds to see their potential and grow in confidence and love. To achieve this goal, they have bible studies with the women at Theodora House to help them overcome their fear.
She and her group first decided to start volunteering with VOAIN because a woman who used to be a resident at Theodora House started attending their church and told them about her history and the other women at Theodora House who are in need of help. That sparked their interest. Patience stated, "Initially that woman made us decide to become involved with VOAIN, but when we got some more information about Theodora House we were impressed and that solidified our decision. We think it's cool that Volunteers of America treats them for their problems instead of just imprisoning them; it provides a more supportive environment. I wish all prisons were like that. Women have degraded themselves so much and they need an environment to grow in."
They decided to start hosting bible studies, and also recently bought Christmas gifts for families affected by incarceration. Through this experience, Patience has learned to be more compassionate towards other with difficult backgrounds. She stated, "With these women, their beginning has been so rough, just when you hear stories about how they grew up, they started off on the wrong foot, how can you expect them to do something right. It's important to show them that even though their beginning was rough, their future can be changed."
Patience and her group meet with the women monthly at Theodora House with VOAIN's chaplain, Chaplain Barlow. For more information about how your church can become involved with VOAIN's clients, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.