Learning to Serve- Thomas’s Story

When Thomas Oakes’s supervisor encouraged him to join a nonprofit board, he had no idea Westminster had a seat waiting for him. Thomas used his supervisor’s encouragement as a spark to get more involved. Knowing about Westminster through past experience with being a latchkey kid, Thomas talked with Jeff Kundert and soon after was voted on as a board member.

Currently serving as the board secretary, Thomas joined the Westminster board in early 2018. Being the secretary means Thomas is responsible for keeping meeting minutes, but he also assists with other daily activities of the Center when his help is needed. Whether its stocking the pantry shelves, planning annual events, or simply making connections for Westminster- Thomas tries to be as involved as he can be.

“Being involved with Westminster has been amazing. I’ve connected with so many people who have taught me to serve better, and to see the bigger picture,” Thomas explained. “Volunteering at Westminster is more than just attending church and spreading the message. It’s getting your inner circle involved and understanding how to help community members get out of poverty.”

Thomas loves working with Westminster Community Center because it’s more than just a handout. At Westminster the staff and volunteers truly care about your life success- they encourage you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you visit Westminster, you’re not going to receive a “here you go, see you later.” You will receive opportunities to better yourself, offered by a group of people who truly care about you.

“We need volunteers from all walks of life,” Thomas noted. “The younger generation needs to get involved, and encourage their friends to join in. Don’t be the person who complains but never tries to help with change. Find a nonprofit you’re passionate about and give them a helping hand!”

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