Impact Stories

We Are All Connected: Mike Van Meter

March 18, 2020

Volunteer Spotlight: Mike Van Meter

Mike Van Meter is a venerable fixture at Judi’s House/JAG Institute with involvement that dates all the way back to our organization’s founding in 2002. Mike gives his time and talent weekly as a house and mission volunteer. In this role he is our resident “fixer” and master of recycling – among many other tasks. What’s more, he regularly offers his support as a Companion Volunteer for our Pathfinders and Connections programs. We are so grateful to Mike for his ongoing commitment to grieving youth and families.

What is your involvement at Judi’s House? First and foremost, I am a Companion Volunteer. It’s the best job in the world to be able to be present for a young person.I am also able to be available a couple days a week to be a “handy man” around the house. I figure that any job I can do means Judi’s House does not have to pay someone and we can apply the funds to programs and services for our families.

What attracted you to Judi’s House? Judi’s House Co-Founder, Brian Griese. When he first shared his vision for Judi’s House [with me] it sounded like something I was willing to support. I’m so glad I accepted his invitation to become a volunteer.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of volunteering? DO IT! It gives you so much in return. You are supporting your community. You are present for someone that just may need to have someone listen to them in that moment in time. You will meet some of the best people in town.

Why do you volunteer? I started with Judi’s House back in 2002 and we sill have a few “old timers” [volunteers] that have stuck around to contribute what we can. I still go home with a heart full of joy after each group, and a smile on my face. I truly feel like a Judi’s House “10” when I am talking to someone about the services we provide.

Besides, Brook and Brian told me long ago, I can have all the cookies and coffee I want! What can be better than that?

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