Morgan (second left), with Koinonia housemates
It’s now been more two months since our new Volunteers began serving at their placement sites! For our Volunteers, these months have been filled with new beginnings, uncomfortable amounts of vulnerability, realizing the importance of intentional budgeting (usually after it’s too late), and finding some peace in that the fact that they’re all doing it together.
Volunteer Morgan Simmons is serving this year in Wilmington, DE at Lutheran Community Services and living in the Koinonia House. Morgan is one of a couple of our Volunteers focused on food insecurity, as this year she serves as a Food & Shelter Assistant, supporting clients in their search for housing and food through the organization’s housing assistance programs or food pantry.
When reflecting on her work, Morgan said, “What I have learned from my placement is that I cannot help everyone. I have this tendency to try and find a way to help everyone in some way. I am a very empathetic person so I try to feel for their situation… what my work has taught me about social justice is that the system is broken. There are long processes to helping clients receive assistance. And even after some loops, we may not be able to help. That does not mean we give up. Being at a situation of need is never comfortable and creating ways for someone to feel human again at their lowest of lows.” Morgan shared that even though the work can be difficult, she believes that the organization is important to the larger community. “My placement does amazing work that requires a lot of different skills of how to help people in distress… We help a lot of people in the Wilmington community.”
Morgan also spoke to the support and hope that local volunteers at her placement bring. “We also have about 400 volunteers who help at our different pantries. We would be nothing without our community of volunteers who see first-hand the good that comes from LCS… even clients in the past and the present dedicate their time to volunteer.”
Not only is Morgan developing a role in the Wilmington community, but also within her own house. One of the toughest parts of a service year for some can be following LVC’s core spiritual practices of living in “intentional community”, but sometimes exploring this type of community can be one of the most rewarding parts of the year.
“I am very grateful for our community,” Morgan shared, “Community is something I thought I knew very well going into Lutheran Volunteer Corps. I had such a small [understanding] of what community could be. Community is an ever-changing concept and there is no limit to what it could be. I never expected myself to be in a community with the kind of people I am currently in in regards to my house, my work and our Local Support Committee. I am looking forward to more memories, conversations and adventures.”
Morgan expressed some of her hopes for the upcoming year is to be able to continue some of the lifestyle changes that occur during her LVC year once she’s finished with the program. “Another hope, she shared, “is [to] continue my spirituality within my house and within a new church. My biggest fear is that I may fail either my housemates or my clients. I hope to do all I can do to support my community by using my gifts and talents.”
Morgan is from from Mount Airy, MD and is a recent Midland University alum. She received a degree for Youth and Family Ministry with a pre-seminary focus.