Volunteer Facilitator since 2021
Todd began volunteering with Erin's House shortly after opening its doors. In 2021, he returned to volunteer again. Throughout his time at Erin's House, he has been a facilitator with the 6- to 9-year-olds. The kids are always eager to see him on their program night, so we were eager to find out what Todd had to say about his experience here at Erin's House.
1) Why do you volunteer at Erin’s House?
I love being around kids! Their energy, their creativity, their openness. It is a big reason why I am a teacher and volunteer at Erin's House. I also love the Erin's House mission. For so long, there was an unmet need in the community and I'm so glad Erin's House exists now. I love being part of a fantastic team working hard to fill that need.
2) What’s your favorite part about volunteering?
My favorite part about volunteering is figuring out how to connect with the kids. At first, many of the kids come in with their guard up. Trying to figure out ways to connect with them and encourage them to share can be challenging, but I enjoy the journey.
3) What have you learned while being here at Erin’s House?
I've learned so many things while being here at Erin's House:
Our community greatly supports the mission of Erin's House.
Kids can be resilient!
I don't have, nor do I need to have, all of the answers.
The Erin's House staff is fantastic!
Lastly, we all have something to learn from each other, and if we are willing to share and listen, we will all have the opportunity to grow.
4) What is your favorite Healing Heart Activity?
I once brought color cards from a paint display at a local hardware store. I asked the kids, "What color best represents how you felt when your loved one died?" I'll never forget when one of my 6-9s picked up a bunch of colors and said, "I'm colorblind, so I don't know what color these are...and that's confusing. And that's how I feel. I'm confused." Such honesty!
5) What is your favorite room at Erin’s House?
I like the Rec Room because it's a lot like the volcano room, but there are more options. The last time we were there, we had a cart of musical instruments which were mostly percussion. We made pretty good beats!
6) Lastly, what is your favorite Erin’s House memory?
Nothing sticks out as a "favorite" memory. However, each night brings something new with an opportunity to make a difference. Whenever a child begins to open up and share their story, that's my favorite memory.
If you feel motivated to walk alongside children and teens on their grief journeys as a volunteer group facilitator, we invite you to fill out a volunteer application. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ellen Roemke, Director of Volunteers, if you have any additional questions: Ellen@ErinsHouse.org or 260.423.2466.