Name: Emily Wells
Project Coordinator since: February 2012
Project she leads: Fare for All @ Hallie Q. Brown
Project Coordinators are volunteers who lead projects in HandsOn Twin Cities’ Impact Now program. Impact Now projects are open to anyone who wants to volunteer – come once or to as many as you like!
About Emily’s volunteer service
Tell us about the project you lead.
I have led two projects in the past, and I am about to start leading my third project. My first project was at the Wilder Ravoux center working with Kairos Dance. Wilder Ravoux is an assisted living program. In Kairos Dance, we encouraged the residents to join us in therapeutic dance.
My next project was at Women of Nations, a home for women of domestic abuse. Volunteers helped watch the children while women attended group classes. We came up with various activities to help keep the kids entertained.
My upcoming project, Fare for All, is distributing affordably priced food packages to the community at Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.
Why did you become a Project Coordinator?
I really want to be able to have an impact on the lives of other people. I have been fortunate to be given the life I have, and I feel I need to help others in any way possible. Being a college student, I find volunteering my time is the best way for me to make a positive change in my community.
Why do you volunteer through HandsOn Twin Cities?
HandsOn Twin Cities helps various volunteer programs across Minneapolis and St. Paul. I love being able to work on very diverse projects. There is something for everyone, no matter his or her passions.
What is your favorite part of being a Project Coordinator?
Being a Project Coordinator really exposes you to new areas of the city and different people. I find it interesting and exciting to learn about the people who live very close to me but lead very different lives. I have met a lot of inspiring people through my work as a Project Coordinator.
Memorable moment at your project:
I really enjoyed helping with Kairos Dance at Wilder Ravoux. You could tell how strongly the program impacted the residents. It allowed a safe place for them to dance, sing, and share their own poetry. On the last day, we each got a rock. We passed around all the rocks and put positive thoughts and emotions into them. I still have my rock, and it was great to see the effect the program had on the residents.
Advice to someone new to volunteering:
Start volunteering on a project you are really passionate about. If you love kids, then find a project where you get to help kids. If you are interested in the project, it will keep you motivated while volunteering.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
On any given day, I am probably baking, cooking, or dancing. I would say those are my three favorite things in life. I also enjoy going on long bike rides around the city; it is extremely relaxing.
Favorite thing about living in the Twin Cities:
The skyline. I think Minneapolis is absolutely beautiful. Walking across the Stone Arch Bridge is one of my favorite things to do in the evening. There are also so many great theaters and art museums across the cities.
Who is your service hero/role model?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific service role model. Instead, the people who truly dedicate their careers to helping others amaze me. Everyone I have met at Wilder Ravoux, Women of Nations, and HandsOn Twin Cities is extremely dedicated to their work. It is amazing how caring and generous they are. So, I guess I have quite a few service heroes!
Your hidden talent:
I am a really good gluten-free baker. I don’t know if that is necessarily a ‘hidden’ talent, because I am always baking cupcakes for all my friends!
It is a little bit long, but it is a quote I try to live my life by:
“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” -Roger Ebert