SPOTLIGHT ON VOLUNTEERS: Mary Cullinan, LifeSteps Coordinator

SPOTLIGHT ON VOLUNTEERS: Mary Cullinan, LifeSteps Coordinator

Mary-Cullinan-300x256What is your position at Community Lifeline?

I am the coordinator for LifeSteps, the education component of Community Lifeline Center. CLC offers weekly classes, including job-seeker support, budgeting, how to stretch your money and Word 101.  The classes are free and open to the public, not just CLC clients. In addition, I am working on ways to increase funding for LifeSteps to improve the program. Fundraising is a fact of life with a non-profit. Getting creative in other ways to get donations is more difficult than I had imagined.

How did you become a volunteer at CLC?

CLC partners with St. Gabriel’s Church and as a volunteer with St. Gabriel’s, I had often communicated with CLC’s case manager, Delphia Adeogun.  I decided to look on the CLC website for an opportunity to volunteer and applied for the education coordinator position.  I have been in the position since May of this year.

Where else do you volunteer?

I am an Advocate at St. Gabriel’s “St. Vincent de Paul” Conference. The advocates respond to requests for assistance in our zip code service area. We call those who ask for assistance, complete an intake form and visit the client in his or her home. After the assessment, based on the available funds and the merits of the case, the advocates select by vote which clients will receive financial assistance on behalf of our St. Vincent de Paul conference and the parishioners of St. Gabriel’s Church.

I also volunteer with Pet Partners, Inc. (the North Texas “A New Leash on Life Chapter”). My 13 lb. pug-chihuahua, Penny, and I are a Registered Therapy Team. We visit people of all ages in locations where dogs are not usually allowed (airports, schools, nursing homes, etc.). Once a week, we go to Garland to spend time with the kids who are residents of Jonathan’s Place, a non-profit shelter for abused, neglected and abandoned children, ages 0 to 18. A little playtime, hugging time and one-on-one time with a sweet dog is a very special event in the life of the children we are privileged to meet.

What other activities do you enjoy?

When I’m not volunteering, I’m either spending time with my husband, visiting our grown children who live out of state, playing with Penny, reading or watching one of my favorite news shows on television.