Erin Flood, Fitness and Fundraising Volunteer

As Thanksgiving creeps closer, I find myself taking inventory of the many people that bless my life in abundant ways. The women of Mahala’s Hope, both staff and residents, are among the people that bless me in ways I never imagined. When I began volunteering two years ago as a fitness instructor, I never imagined how Mahala’s Hope would impact me. I wanted to volunteer my services in support of women that were brave enough to do the work that recovery takes, as I had women in my own life that struggled to make that commitment. As my volunteer focus and involvement has continued to evolve, one lesson continues to push to the forefront: we were never meant to walk this life alone.

The bond that the women of Mahala’s Hope have is special. Each group that I meet has a unique vibe and bonds over something different – but one essential element of their success is that for the first time in many of their lives, they have a sober, safe, encouraging, and educated support system. The gift of witnessing the power of what an environment like this can do for a person feels a bit like

being witness to a miracle. I always tell Sandy and Kris that my heart overflows when I see the ways the residents’ lights shine a bit brighter on my weekly visits. The community is essential to their success and I am incredibly grateful to be able to contribute tools that can transfer into wellness practices when the women transition back into the life they have dreamed of living.

As a volunteer at Mahala’s Hope, I get to witness a small piece of the magic that Sandy and her team have created. The feeling of safety and serenity for the women of Mahala’s Hope is a gift – one I hope our community recognizes and values. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the organization as a fundraising volunteer, Christmas drive organizer, fitness instructor, and hopefully many other ways in the future. Mahala’s Hope rests in my heart and I am committed to doing whatever I can to support their mission.