Name: Catherine Beam
How long have you been volunteering for Maryhurst? 7 years
Why do you volunteer?
I grew up in an abusive and dysfunctional home – I ran away at 15 and when I got tired of running I ended up in a Shelter House. After several months of going thru the court system, I landed in a foster home where I stayed until I turned 18. I cannot possibly imagine what my life would be like had I not been loved by others outside my family during such a critical time in my youth. For a long time I didn’t understand why God would allow my life to be so broken at such a young age, but I realize looking back that He was preparing me for a much bigger journey – to understand the pain of other teenagers and give them the same love and attention that was given to me and helped me become who I am as an adult.
Why do you choose to donate your time to Maryhurst?
Children are a passion of mine – I love giving back in a way that is both personal for me and helps invest in the life of a child.
Can you share an experience with Maryhurst that made you realize you were making a difference?
One of my favorite quotes is “So often we underestimate the impact of our personal decisions on others…But God has placed each of us in a circle of influence to be a blessing and a redemptive influence for those around us” ~ Dave Stone. With that said, every time we visit the girls I come to the realization that a difference is being made. Either we are making a difference in THEIR life by loving them, spending time with them, or taking an interest in them with no expectation of anything in return or THEY are making a difference in our lives with their genuine and loving spirit.
What advice would you give someone who is on the fence about volunteering?
Everyone has something to offer a child – Just use the talents that God has given you, step out of your comfort zone, and give it your all. I could not run our Adopt A Dorm program without the help from the other volunteers who work with me. We have members who are blessed with talents of creativity, organization, high energy, conversational skills, cooking skills, etc. The saying “it takes an army” is so applicable here. No single person can be everything a child needs, but together we can provide them bits and pieces that will shape them for a promising future.
What do you do when you are not volunteering?
I work full time, am a mother of a 17 year old, a wife, and a very motivated volunteer of the community. I serve on the board of the Youth Resource Center at North Bullitt High School, work with various charitable organizations who help the homeless, run a clothes/charity closet out of my house, and coordinate fund raising events several times throughout the year to help children and families in need. Last but not least, I spend as much time as possible with friends, family, and others in the community trying to listen and follow God’s plan for me in life.