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4 min read

From Volunteer to Legacy Partner: Leaving a Lasting Impact on the Ministry

UGM operates 100% free from government funding. To effectively serve those in need, we rely on various types of generosity from the community—from our fleet of volunteers who give so generously of their time and resources, to our legacy partners who invest in the future well-being of the most vulnerable in our community.

 

 

Getting Involved With UGM

Pat Holmstead was a dedicated career woman until her retirement in 2013. Uninterested in sitting around, she began pursuing ways to give back to the community.

Pat H

Pat decided to volunteer on the front lines at the UGM Women & Children's Shelter. She had previously volunteered at another local women’s shelter and knew she wanted to be able to give women more than a place to sleep at night. She says, “[Working at a warming shelter] is just keeping them alive, and there’s no life change." 

During her time at the Women & Children's Shelter, Pat saw the life-changing effect of a whole-person approach. “I don’t think I would have had the purpose of the Mission if I hadn’t started there," she explained.

"People have to learn skills if they weren’t modeled in the home. If you have parents who are addicted, or never in the home, or fighting all the time, or hitting you, you’re not learning how to balance your checkbook. [Instead] it’s, ‘What am I going to eat today that I can scrounge out of the refrigerator?’ What UGM offers is really comprehensive."   

 

“Starting on the front line was a good thing for me...What UGM offers is really comprehensive.”

 

 

Pat enjoyed being of service at the Shelter so much, that even a major hip surgery didn’t take her out of commission. She did, however, move from the front lines to the administrative side.

 

 

Serving Wherever The Needs Are

Over the past eleven years, this servant-hearted woman has jumped in alongside UGM staff to schedule donation pickups, answer phones, and serve the public at the front desk; worked in finance with the Donations Processing team; served as a mentor to residents; partnered with the former UGM Auxiliary; and offered invaluable support services to our Advancement team. 

Auxiliary Board-1

From spending time as a high-impact volunteer, Pat believes, "[UGM is] what they claim to be...I’ve had a lot of exposure to a lot of different areas at UGM, and it has consistently convinced me that this organization is spectacularly wonderful and deserving of all the support that is given to it. It has great credibility."

 

“This organization is spectacularly wonderful and deserving of all the support that is given to it. It has great credibility.”

 

 

Placing volunteers in areas where they’ll thrive is important to UGM staff. Pat has felt known and listened to every time she’s needed a change or been moved. “There are just so many different places where you can work and we all have different abilities. They are good about trying to fit you where your skills are. And they're always open to accommodating what you want." 

Throughout her time at UGM, she explained, "I have felt very physically protected here. Every single time when I go to my car, somebody is there to see that I get there safely...It shows appreciation for what volunteers do, that you’re not just taken for granted."

 

“It shows appreciation for what volunteers do, that you’re not just taken for granted.”

 

 

Gwen Schwartz, UGM Director of Legacy and Gift Planning, has high praise for her “super volunteer” Pat. “She’s more than a wonderful volunteer, she’s an incredible person. She’s family.” And the feeling is mutual.

 

 

Legacy Giving

Pat H-2Pat developed a lot of useful skills in her career, holding various director roles and a master’s degree in health services administration. “The computer skills, especially, have been a good resource [at UGM] that is unique for my generation,” she explained when sharing about the computer work she does to support Gwen's legacy giving efforts. 

“I’m working with the larger donors, or those that have made a commitment for estate support, and that’s been very interesting. I do some calling of the donors, and mailings and thank you notes, and updating [donor] contacts.” She says volunteers do a lot of the foundational work that supports the efforts of the Advancement team.

Pat says financially donating is equally important to her. “It’s like supporting missionaries, I look at it in the same way. If you’re paying to send a missionary, you’re not doing the work yourself, but the missionaries certainly couldn’t do it without you. So, I’m a giver now, and I’m going to be a giver after I’m gone."

Pat has included UGM in her estate plan to offer hope to the homeless for many years to come. Working with legacy partners has encouraged her to leave her own legacy of hope and healing. “I didn’t know that estate planning resources were available from UGM. Gwen connected me with trusted professionals who walked me through formalizing my estate plan.”

 

“I didn’t know that estate planning resources were available from UGM. Gwen connected me with trusted professionals who walked me through formalizing my estate plan."

 

 

 

Blessed By Our Caring Community

Pat continues to touch countless lives through her dedicated service to Union Gospel Mission. Spokane and the Inland Northwest is greatly influenced by people like her - quiet, servant-hearted individuals who give daily toward the cause of the gospel. “It’s serving the Lord. It’s building the Lord’s kingdom. It’s the most important thing you can do.”

 

“I’m a giver now, and I’m going to be a giver after I'm gone...It’s serving the Lord. It’s building the Lord’s kingdom. It’s the most important thing you can do.” 

 

 

People in crisis are finding hope because people like her keep caring. Thank you, Pat, and all who have come alongside UGM to care for those in need.

 

 

 

To learn more about volunteering, visit www.uniongospelmission.org/volunteer and sign up for a volunteer overview. 

If you’re interested in Legacy Giving, call Gwen Schwartz (509.536.3797) to discuss how UGM can help with wills, trusts, and other estate planning tools.

 

 

 

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on February 11, 2021 and has been thoroughly updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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