Marilynn grew up in a family committed to community service. When serving on the board of University District Ecumenical Parish four years ago, she heard Pastor Ron Moe-Lobeda, the former pastor of the University Lutheran Church and a founder of Elizabeth Gregory Home (EGH), speak about the impact EGH has had on at-risk and homeless women. Marilynn decided to start contributing household goods and toiletries.
Eventually, she asked staff how she might get further involved, particularly in work that would allow her to interact directly with women accessing programs and services. As a result, Marilynn now volunteers 2 – 3 days weekly with food services in the kitchen, helping with food preparation, deep cleaning and sorting donations. “I love how tolerant and respectful of differences the women are,” Marilynn said. “I’ve heard from many of them about how they often feel isolated in the shelter system, and how different it is here at EGH. Here they feel at home.”
In addition to her onsite support, Marilynn also advocates for EGH in the community. For example, she peruses garage sales for backpacks or small rolling suitcase, as this is an ongoing need for many of the women at EGH. She also helped facilitate a recent grant from her church, Christ Episcopal, that will allow EGH to purchase a new hood for our kitchen range.
This February, Marilynn will celebrate her third year of volunteerism with EGH. When asked why she keeps coming back, Marilynn said “When I started, I really just wanted to put a face to homelessness for my own benefit. What I found out was that they are regular people just like me.”
Marilynn is a beloved member of the EGH family and we are indeed grateful for her many contributions of time and talent.