When Jim Monroe retired twenty years ago, he contacted Tillie about volunteer opportunities. He said, “I’m available.” And that’s all it took.
In the beginning, he held several posts, from furniture delivery, to teaching a Bible Study, to sorting clothes. He was available just like he said he would be. In the end, he started helping in Mission Arlington’s® Front Room, where people come to ask for assistance with food, clothing, financial assistance, and other needs. In spite of how emotional it can be, he took to it immediately. He says, “It meant something to me, because of the people we were seeing. Not as a big group, but one-on-one.”
His current role is to be at the front desk whenever he is here, helping answer questions and directing people in need. He sometimes helps facilitate financial assistance, calling the utility companies to pledge support, etc. The needs are great. He points out that although Mission Arlington® is in the middle of signing up people for school supplies, people are already asking for Thanksgiving and Christmas help.
His favorite thing is helping people one-on-one. He likes helping people problem solve. He says some people find themselves in need because of an emergency, a death in the family or loss of job, and some need help and aren’t sure how they got to this point. Jim finds joy in helping people problem solve: teaching them to save money, showing them life-skills, like how to budget. He says, “You see light bulbs come on. When they came in, they didn’t see how it could be done.” The work in hard, but joy comes from the Lord. “It’s somber, heartbreaking but satisfying. It’s good, all the time. And nothing surpasses that kind of joy.”
Recently, in conjunction with Jim’s birthday, the Mission Arlington® staff and volunteers celebrated Jim’s twentieth-year volunteering anniversary. We are grateful for this long-term commitment and the way Jim cares for the people.
The Front Room assisted, on average, 160 families per day in 2018. This takes a large team of volunteers, and we need you. If you feel called to help counsel and pray with people in need, please call 817-277-6620 or stop by to see how you can help.