By Randy Schultz
Robyn was looking for a way to honor her son Adam, who died in 2014 at age 18.
She had lost her husband in 2000 and was left with only her youngest son. As the two prayed together, asking God for guidance, they heard a call to serve homeless men and women at Springs Rescue Mission.
“Even though honoring my son is still part of the volunteering, serving God continues to be a huge part of service,” she said.
We recently spoke with Robyn about her experience volunteering at the Mission.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Robyn, and I was born in Pueblo, Colorado, lived around the world and settled in Breckenridge, Colorado, in the late 80s. After my husband died in 2000, my children and I moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to my parents. I am self-employed, doing medical billing for mental health providers, work four 10-hour days. When I am not working, I love to volunteer.
How often do you volunteer at Springs Rescue Mission?
Is this your first volunteer experience?
Not at all. Several years ago, myself and other volunteers brought food to the homeless at Dorchester Park with the Salvation Army Food Truck. That gave me a chance to serve the homeless population and get to know many of them on a personal basis. We did that until the city of Colorado Springs shut it down.
What led you to volunteer at Springs Rescue Mission?
My oldest son, Adam, passed away in 2014 at the age of 18. That was one of the toughest times of my life. At one point, my youngest son and I prayed together to ask God what we should do to honor my son Adam. We both felt the urging to serve the homeless, as Adam had a soft spot in his heart for the homeless. I started to volunteer at Springs Rescue Mission to honor my son and to help me through the grief.
What did you know about SRM when you started?
Not that much, didn’t realize how many services the Mission offers. I knew they fed the homeless and had an overnight shelter. However, I wasn’t aware that the Peak Vista medical truck, dental truck, Department of Human Services, Aspen Pointe, counselors, life coaching, and bible studies are all available to our homeless community through SRM. I didn’t know SRM was a place to change lives and a place to get prayers as well!
You volunteer twice a week. What keeps you coming back?
I love being here. I have personal relationships with many of the guests. So many of the people that SRM serves really want their lives to be better. They have a deep desire to get off the streets, they just need a little help. A hand up, not a hand out! It’s so rewarding and fulfilling to have somebody come to me and ask, “Can you help me?” What a blessing it is to be here for them, share and minister to them. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict, and can honestly tell them I have gone through dark times, too. It’s such a blessing to serve here. God puts these people in my life, and they bless me in ways I didn’t know were possible.
What’s your favorite way to volunteer at SRM?
I love working the late afternoon shift in the Women’s Shelter and just walking around talking to people. I can really get to know the women. I just do what I do best and yak it up with people—human being to human being, heart to heart. I don’t have any special skills or training, but I do know how to talk and how to listen and come here with an open heart for our guests. I have a heart for the homeless, and they sense that in me. When walking through the SRM campus I often hear, “Hey, Miss Robyn, how are you?” We actually minister to each other. It’s all about the relationships.
Do you think you’ll be a lifelong volunteer?
I will keep coming here as long as God wants me to be here. I know that God led me here, and my heart is serving Him when I am at Springs Rescue Mission. I am able to give time and my heart, and I get so much in return. I’ve been through a lot in my own life and have experienced my share of pain. I have family members that are addicts that cannot be helped until they are ready. However, I can help someone else’s child by being open, and knowing how to relate with addicts and alcoholics. When someone is ready to get help, they know they can come to Springs Rescue Mission. And I will be here, with my arms and my heart open, ready to help.
Springs Rescue Mission’s ministry is made possible with the help hardworking volunteers like Robyn and neighbors like you. Subscribe to our blog to learn more about Springs Rescue Mission and the people we serve — people who have seen tough times but are committed to breaking the cycles of homelessness, hunger and addiction in their lives. We see stories of hope and transformation lived out every day, and we’d love to share them with you.
About the Author: Randy Schultz is the president of the public relations firm Schultz Communications and the content editor for HomeGardenandHomestead.com. He also works as a volunteer for Springs Rescue Mission.