Monday, April 15, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Catholic Charities Service Corps Volunteer: Krista Fultz



Krista Fultz went to the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she majored in Theology and received a double minor in Social Work (Diversity Studies and Child Welfare). After graduation, she moved to East Texas and worked at the Pines Catholic Camp. She then moved to Buffalo, NY, to be a part of the Catholic Charities Service Corps and now works at Victims Services with victims of domestic violence. She would like to continue working in social justice, possibly getting her Masters in Peace and Justice Studies at the University of San Diego.

Hello, from the west side! My roommate Colleen, our two cats, Bonnie and Clyde, and I live on the west side of Buffalo, NY about a mile east of the Peace Bridge and 30 minutes south of Niagara Falls.






I wake up in the morning to a beautiful cacophony of my alarm clock, birds, and the hungry kittens. After preparing for the day, I’m off to work! I work in the village of Kenmore, which is about 15-20 minute drive. I really enjoy my drive into work; the city is waking up and going about their days. I do not think that many people know how beautiful Buffalo is. The old Victorian houses are absolutely gorgeous, the Niagara River and the marina just down the way and the village of Kenmore is charming as well! I also love listening to NPR on the way into work. I LOVE listening to NPR and come into the office sharing something that I heard on the radio.



Upon coming into the office, I usually stop in and say hello to June our receptionist. She is amazing! The office would surely fall apart without her. After visiting with her for a minute, I go upstairs to my office, where I water my plants, and brew some coffee.







 
Then it’s time to tackle my day! Like I said earlier, I work at Victims Services. Right now, much of the work I do is with a housing grant. We just received funding to help families (with emphasis on individuals who were effected by domestic violence) get back on their feet by helping cover moving costs, security deposits, and first months rent. I talk on the phone A LOT.  I also take calls from individuals seeking domestic violence counseling, financial assistance (food, help with gas or electric, prescriptions, etc.) or other emergency needs.



I also help facilitate support groups through Victim Services. Earlier this year, I helped run a resiliency group for mothers and their children. (Studies have found that promoting the bond between the non-offending parent and their children helps with the healing process). We also coordinate a support group for women. Most recently, we started a yoga class for some of our clients who have experienced trauma in their lives. These women are amazing and inspiring. I learn so much from them sharing their stories.



Another thing that I love about Buffalo is all of the wonderful things to do here! Some nights, I go to spiritual direction at a local college. There is also a young adult’s Catholic group that meets once a month for fellowship, Adoration and teaching.  Most nights, Colleen and I cook dinner together at our little blue house and talk about our days. I am very blessed that Colleen and I get along so well; we spend a lot of time together as a community of two! We have befriended a lot of volunteers in Buffalo, and they are always up for having adventures! Elmwood Village always has something going on. We play trivia at a local pub, Buffalo loves its festivals (Irish, German, Polish) there is also dancing (there is a great dancing scene in Buffalo: Salsa, Swing, even Argentine Tango!) or we just stay and watch a movie with friends.

When the day is finally done, I am so thankful to have answered God’s call to become part of the Catholic Charities Service Corps. I love my work, my community, my dear friends and the city of Buffalo. I go to sleep extremely content and in love with where God has led me…and looking forward to the days to come!



Using Catholic Social Teachings, Catholic Charities Service Corps invites members to "discover their light, and ignite it in others," instilling and awakening a true responsibility to advocate for social justice by entering into people’s stories. Intentional communities offer potential to increase self-awareness, refine communication skills, offer support and companionship through what can be an intense and joyful experience. Members discover or define skills, interests, talents and, ultimately, those gifts they can use to serve into their futures. Learn more here.