Michael Pratt (Volunteer)

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Short of an atomic fusion, volunteering is the only thing I know of where you get more energy out of it than you put into it.

After some gentle prodding from a therapist treating me for PTSD, I began volunteering at the Center 18 months ago and discovered that I love it.

Whatever work there is to be done—whether it’s unloading a truck, setting up tables and chairs, washing dishes, or stuffing envelopes—I enjoy all of it.

The interaction with other people has been important to me and helped me to come out of my shell. I had been at the very depths of my depression and wouldn’t leave my apartment unless it was very late at night. I no longer wanted to be a part of the world, and I wasn’t taking care of myself.

Through a regimen of medication, talk therapy, and volunteering, I’m finally back to running at 100 percent.

What have made the longest-lasting impressions on me are the kindness and dedication of the staff whom I’ve experienced since the day I first arrived. Everyone has made me feel welcome, valued, and appreciated.

For anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer, I say: Don’t think about it. Just go out and do it!

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Hometown: New Castle, Delaware

Year Started At The Center: 2018

Volunteer Position: Various
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