Shani Toor ministers with Siena House in the Bronx. She builds community with the women and their babies who are living at the shelter. She shares community in the Bronx Lay Community. As her volunteer year comes to end, she answered our questions about her year in Dominican Volunteers program.
I loved the fact that I would be serving a grossly under served population. I have always wanted to work with mothers and babies so it seemed that dedicating a year of service with DVUSA would give me that opportunity as well as the structure and security of community living.
What was the most surprising thing during your volunteer time?
The most surprising thing for me during my volunteer time was how much I fell in love with the women and children I work with. They bring me so much joy, As I am writing this response I find myself fighting back tears by the thought of leaving them but they will forever be in my heart and I will always remember them.
What was the one thing you wish you could change?
Community life was very difficult for me in the beginning because I didn't fully understand it but now that it is so close to the end I am really enjoying the time that I spend within community.
What was the most important lesson you learned in your volunteer time with DV?
I have learned to accept all things in the form that they come to you because although it may not come in the way you want it to, every lesson is important.
Do you have any special moments you would like to share with us?
Recently, this year my mother was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. It is by far the most devastating news that I have ever received but this program and all of its affiliates have been so unbelievably supportive throughout the whole process. I have felt loved.
How this year changed you?
I am sure it has but I wont know in what ways until I leave NYC and get a chance to look at this year through from an aerial prospective.
What would you say to volunteers of 2015-16?
Enjoy yourself and go with what is in your heart