Many great things come in small packages. The Reuss family of three who recently began volunteering at Lazarus House is one example. Grady-16, Logan-13 and their mother Jen knew Lazarus House for years but made time this year to get involved with volunteering.
“Serving at Lazarus was something we had always talked about,” Jen Reuss said. “We really wanted to work [volunteering] into our life for a really long time. We investigated a lot of different opportunities. Lazarus House is such a part of this community. It seemed like a nice fit and it works great for us,” Jen said.
The Reuss family works on organizational projects that work well with their busy schedule. Jen noted, “Between sports commitments and school activities, our lives can be quite busy. So, this has been a nice way to work [volunteering] into our lives.” The flexibility of the Reuss family projects helps them to take on more.
Jen, Grady and Logan Reuss began working on managing the database for Lazarus House before COVID-19 restrictions began. They continue to work on managing the database in addition to organizing the kitchen, games center and bookshelves through the summer while following Lazarus House COVID-19 safety protocols . “We’re sprucing up the shelter for when it reopens,” Jen said.
Service is important to the Reuss Family. “It is great to expose my kids to volunteering, especially in their younger years. Service is vital to community success,” Jen said. The Reuss family has had fun working together in service and even sharing in some laughs.
The family of three enjoys volunteering. “It makes my heart happy with the level of respect Lazarus House has for their guests. They really believe in what they do,” said Jen Reuss. “The staff is so lovely. They are really beautiful people, it makes it nice to volunteer,” Reuss said.
The Reuss family encourages volunteering with Lazarus House. “Everyone can do it,” said Logan Reuss. “They work with what you have and use your talents with what they need,” Jen continued. “Tell them your interests or what you think you can do. Just reach out. They are happy to work with you.” “The opportunities are extensive because the need is extensive.”
In the future, the Reuss family looks forward to fixing all the organizational needs of Lazarus House and expanding into other ways of serving once COVID-19 restrictions loosen. “We have thought about helping out at the food pantry and baking cakes for birthdays.”