Sometimes the call to step up and be forward in our efforts comes when we least expect it. That was the case for Charlotte Helmer, who began her journey as an Egan Warming Centers volunteer five years ago. Serving in what she considered a comfortable capacity at first, Charlotte’s role with Egan quickly changed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of the older and more experiencedCharlotte Helmer volunteers with Egan Warming Centers volunteers to take a step back from the program.

“Suddenly there was a need for people like me who were comfortable doing our small roles with Egan to get more involved in the bigger picture,” says Charlotte.

Charlotte, along with many other newer volunteers, answered the call when the time came. They soon found themselves teaching other young volunteers the very same skills they had learned just a day prior.

As Charlotte enters her fifth year with Egan Warming Centers she is working as a shift lead at the Springfield shelter location. Those early learning moments, driven by necessity, have helped carry her forward to success.

            Charlotte admits those first couple of shifts can be daunting but insists anyone can find a way to be effective at Egan and doesn’t need any special background to get started.

“When you step into your first shift at Egan there is a lot going on but there is always room for you. Just take a little time to get involved and you’re going to find your niche.”

Despite the chaos of activation night, Charlotte says there’s no fog of war when it comes to understanding what is at stake.

“One of the most beautiful things about being a volunteer is that you know at any given moment what the goal is. The goal is to keep people alive. To treat them with dignity and respect and that’s it.”

Learn more about Egan Warming Centers and how you can join the team: