Category Archives: Volunteer Profiles

‘Everyone deserves a chance’ | Volunteer completes 100th resume with clients

Robyn Weilbacher (middle) helps clients with their resume at Room at the Inn. Recently, Weilbacher completed her 100th resume session.

Robyn Weilbacher (middle) helps clients with their resume at Room at the Inn. Recently, Weilbacher completed her 100th resume session.

Robyn Weilbacher has served as a Room at the Inn volunteer for several years through her congregation, Shaare Emeth.

But it wasn’t until the spring of last year, while volunteering for Room, that Weilbacher realized one of her true life-callings.

“I met some of the female clients at my temple and I just asked them, ‘What can I do for you?’ said Weilbacher, who is a speech language therapist. “They said, ‘We need help finding jobs.'”

Weilbacher took to her computer, did hours of research, and realized she could teach clients valuable tools on how to write resumes and find jobs.

“I don’t have any professional, resume-building experience,” Weilbacher explained. “I just had done it for somebody before and thought, ‘I could help out.'”

Earlier this month, Weilbacher completed her 100th resume with Room at the Inn clients.

“How do I keep going? I believe in them,” Weilbacher said. “I feel like I’ve found my calling this past year. I feel like everyone deserves to have a good job. Not just a job but a good job. They deserve to have a good life.”

Weilbacher said many of Room at the Inn clients have the experience and skills necessary to find decent jobs, but have not realized it themselves.

Weilbacher recalls how, last summer, one client shouted in disbelief after completing her resume.

“All she said was, ‘Is that me? That’s me!” Weilbacher remembers. “I think so many people have had such bad luck. They feel frustrated and they feel down about themselves. Everyone deserves a chance to have a good life and a good job. They do have experience, and they are good people. But their lives are so torn apart by the time they are in a homeless shelter that they just give up and don’t value themselves. I try to inspire them and make them realize they are worth it.”

But it was not only Weilbacher who made an impact on Room at the Inn clients. Weilbacher said Room at the Inn has also changed her.

“Room completes me,” she said. “Never in my entire life have I experienced anything like this. I’ve volunteered before, but this summer, while I was taking a break, I felt something had been missing from my life. As soon as I returned and started talking to the clients again, I was almost in tears. I was so happy. I felt like I was home.”

The staff of Room at the Inn wish to extend a sincere congratulations and thanks to Robyn Weilbacher for everything she has done for our clients. You have truly given our clients – as our motto says – a future and a purpose.

May God bless you.

Interested in volunteering?

Room at the Inn is currently seeking tutors and child-care volunteers. To find out more and to match your skills and time availability to the shelter’s needs, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Melanie Matthew at 314-209-9191, or via email at mmatthew@roomstl.org.

Young Friends host dinner, overnight for the homeless

Room at the Inn clients help themselves to a delicious meal prepared by the Young Friends of Room at the Inn.

Room at the Inn clients help themselves to a delicious meal prepared by the Young Friends of Room at the Inn.

The Young Friends of Room at the Inn board held its first service project of the year, serving clients dinner and volunteering for an overnight stay at the shelter Saturday, June 21.

Approximately 15 volunteers helped prepare meals, played with young clients, and stayed over night tending to the clients needs.

Typically, Room at the Inn clients spend the night at one of the shelter’s night site partners, made up of approximately 60 interfaith congregations throughout the St. Louis area.

“With this event, we wanted our young friends group to experience shelter life,” said Catie Myers, Young Friends of Room board member. “We also wanted other young professionals who are not part of Young Friends of Room to come check out our program and the wonderful mission of the shelter.”

Lori Coachman, one of the attendees, had no previous knowledge of Room at the Inn, but saw the opportunity for Saturday’s event featured on T.V.

“I love to volunteer for different organizations and I loved how easy it was to get involved with this event,” Coachman said. “I had a great time playing with the kids.”

Myers said Saturday’s event also helped break stereotypes.

“It gives people a different perspective about what it means to volunteer with the homeless,” Myers said. “Some people out there are scared or do not know if they could handle volunteering at a homeless shelter, but once they are here, they realize it is much easier and a lot of fun. It was great to see this group of volunteers living the mission.”

Interested in joining the Young Friends of Room at the Inn or volunteering at the shelter? Contact Chris Hotard at chotard@roomstl.org or call at (314) 209-9198.

Catie Myers, Young Friends of Room board member, and a young client enjoy the shelter's playground together.

Catie Myers, Young Friends of Room board member, and a young client enjoy the shelter’s playground together.

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