April 06, 2022

CCS Sharehouse Volunteer Connects Over Language

Catholic Community Services’ Migration and Refugee Services department operates a facility called the Sharehouse, which holds donations for refugee clients ranging from furniture and cleaning supplies to bikes and books. 

The Sharehouse relies heavily on volunteers who help with organizing the warehouse section where furniture is kept for apartment set-ups, as well as assisting clients in the front store section of the facility where clients “shop” for items.  

Kent Bowman, a frequent volunteer at the Sharehouse, has been volunteering there two to three days a week for about seven months. 

He was introduced to the Sharehouse by way of serving dinner at St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall. After serving dinner and signing up for emails, Kent started receiving volunteer opportunities to his inbox. 

The first of which was an opportunity at the Sharehouse. 

Kent spent the first part of his time helping in the warehouse section of the Sharehouse, but was asked to assist in the front as more clients came in. 

“It turned out that everybody in the store was Afghan, and I speak Farsi,” Kent said. “So I could step in and translate for them and it just kind of sold me. After that I thought ‘I can at least spare half a day every week or two days a week.'"  

Kent notes that his favorite memory at the Sharehouse was a day he helped a family take their items home.  

A husband and wife came to the Sharehouse to pick up some items and left with bikes in tow for their children. However, the bikes and other items wouldn’t fit in one car. 

Being that it was the end of the day, Kent decided that he could put the seats down in his SUV and help transport the items back to the family’s home. Upon arrival they were met by the couple’s pre-teen and two five- to six-year-old children. 

“When they saw us they were so happy, screaming ‘Mom! Dad!’” Kent said. “When they saw the bikes come out of the car it was like Christmas morning.” 

Kent noted, “That’s my favorite memory...This allowed them to come home and show their kids that mom and dad were taking care of them.” 

Thank you, Kent, for all that you do to support Catholic Community Services’ clients! 

Click here to learn more about how you can volunteer at the Sharehouse.