Shining a light on our volunteers

Volunteer Spotlight – Julie Taylor 

Volunteers are integral to DESC’s work, donating their time and energy to helping our clients and our community in so many ways. We are excited to start off the new year by introducing you to one of them: Julie Taylor

A woman in a light-colored sweater over a dark shirt, wearing a face mask, turns her head to look toward the photographer. She appears to be packing mugs into gift boxes.

Julie began volunteering with DESC in 2018, providing classroom support at a GED program hosted by DESC in partnership with Seattle Central College. With the onset of COVID, her work shifted toward socially-distanced activities like sorting donations and delivering supplies, but she has remained a consistent volunteer and a huge help to DESC throughout the pandemic. 

Having been a social worker for 25 years, employed with government agencies where she helped families navigate trauma and connect with services, Julie truly understands the many challenges that people can face throughout their lives–and how people are so much more than the struggles they are dealing with.

Many of DESC’s clients who are now experiencing or have experienced homelessness live with a combination of serious behavioral and physical disabilities, substance use disorders and chronic health problems which can make it difficult for them to function in a manner that society expects. But while volunteering in DESC’s GED program, Julie got a chance to really get to know and learn from some of the “interesting, distinctive individuals” who are our clients.

Although she has worked with many people facing significant issues and obstacles, “For the most part, the DESC clients I have met face significantly greater challenges than most of my clients did back in the day,” Julie says. 

She believes DESC provides an essential service for so many in our community who might not be able to get the help they need elsewhere. She says that “in a lot of situations, social services agencies say ‘Okay, you’re this, you have to do this, and we won’t help you unless you do this.’ And I like that DESC tries to figure out what people need without passing judgment.”

Julie also praises DESC’s “wonderful” case managers and other front-line staff, “how they build rapport and support their clients.  

“I just can’t say enough about the people who do the direct services at DESC. They’re really quite amazing.”  

Asked which of DESC’s initiatives she is most proud of, Julie says, “I think the supportive housing is really, really important. You guys do a really good job of that.”

Thanks to the dedication of our amazing community of donors, advocates and incredible volunteers like Julie, DESC can continue doing the important work of placing people into housing and providing them with the support that they deserve year after year. Thank you for all you do for DESC, Julie!  

If you want to be awesome like Julie and get into volunteering at DESC, please contact volunteer@desc.org or check out www.desc.org/get-involved/volunteer-at-desc/ to learn more. For employee volunteer groups and opportunities, please contact our Employee Giving Manager Nicole Palczewski at npalczewski@desc.org. Together we can make 2022 into a brighter year for everyone!