Kyra started volunteering at the Damiano Center in 2016. She had moved to Duluth from Oklahoma just a year before, and had never heard of Damiano previously. She provided support in the main office most weekdays after she began volunteering, and was hired in 2017. Her current position is Community Development Manager.
Kyra says that Damiano is important because, "It is known as a safe place in the community and provides basic needs to anyone who needs it. So many people would go hungry without the Damiano Center. It also builds relationships within the community with volunteers coming in and getting to know each other."
She is motivated to come to work because: "I truly enjoy helping others. When someone calls in and is desperately looking for items or needing volunteer hours, you can hear the relief in their voice that they are thankful for the Damiano Center being here. I also look forward to raising money for the Damiano Center so that we can continue to provide these services to the community for free."
Kyra says this work matters because: "Someone may be having a bad day and with a simple smile and a meal, they walk out with a better look on life. Some people don't have any family around and the Damiano is the closest thing to them where they can come and talk to a staff member who will listen. We care and do what we can to help."
Kyra worked from home for several months after COVID-19 hit, and has recently returned to working in the office. She says, "I had to cancel all volunteers and have been still busy keeping them up to date on our current situation. I am back in the office and answering the phone more. Although our building is still closed, we have wonderful community members wanting to volunteer and donate items. I don't see our regular guests because I am inside most of the time."
For someone who has never been to Damiano, she would want them to know that, "Damiano services are open to anyone who needs it. If you're struggling all the time or just today, we are here to help. When we reopen, come on over for a visit and have a delicious meal in our kitchen. Or give me a call and volunteer for a shift in the kitchen or another program. It is open to anyone and you will feel welcomed."
For now, she suggests that you, "Stop by during our regular meal times in our parking lot to get a to-go meal prepared by our amazing staff."