Friday Feature: Amy Coombs
"I was drawn to the organization because it was built on Christian values and still strives to illustrate the presence of God."Amy Coombs
Values in vocation
Your name: Amy Coombs
Your role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Program Assistant for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
What brought you to this position? A friend from church told me about the position, and after doing some research on who Volunteers of America Michigan was, I was excited to apply! I was drawn to the organization because it was built on Christian values and still strives to illustrate the presence of God.
What is your biggest takeaway from working with Volunteers of America Michigan? Two things! Humility: I am not on the front lines, so I don’t interact with clients as much. From behind the scenes I get to hear stories of the clients we serve and I am frequently humbled. Throughout VOAMI we serve incredible people from veterans that have sacrificially served us to single moms that work full time while going to school and raising their children. Hearing about their determination to succeed despite all the hardships they encounter is sobering. I don’t deserve to be where I am at and yet I still find ways to complain about what I don’t have and how I deserve so much more (yikes). Contentment is a constant battle, but working here has left me in awe of the determination of others and has taught me to be thankful for where I am at. What it means to be a leader: My view of what it means to be a leader has changed since working here because of the kind and strong leadership we have. John Eynon has been a constant encourager to me and pushes me to grow in my position. He is so approachable and always has time for my questions (and is there when I need a good laugh). Brad Atchison is probably one of the most humble leaders I know. He leads with kindness and is constantly pushing his team to grow and dream of more ways we can serve others. I really enjoy being under his leadership because I know he is pushing us all on to great things and truly cares about us all.
What is your biggest challenge in this position? I think one of the challenges of being “behind the scenes” doing admin work is that you can lose sight of who we serve and why we do what we do. Success stories are always an encouragement and chatting with case workers helps me to be more client focused.
Where is your dream vacation spot? New Zealand!
What is your favorite book? Corrie Ten Boom’s life story “The Hiding Place”.
How do you spend your time outside of the office? Now that the weather is warmer, I have way too many things that I love to do outside of work. I used to fill my time with wedding planning activities but now thankfully that has switched to enjoying married life! My husband and I love to kayak, adventure through wood stores, build cool things like tables, brew beer, and spend as much time outside as possible. The rest of my time is filled with gardening, fixing up our quirky house, and spending all the time with our family and friends that we can squeeze in.