How I Found Myself Volunteering at a Social Justice Nonprofit Organization

November 8th, 2016, I felt defeated.  

Scared of the place I call home, USA,  and scared of how the coming years would unfold. I remember returning home the night of the elections and my fiance said, “Trump’s winning”.  I turned to him and said “I don’t want to talk about it”.

Photography by: Rob Walsh

Photography by: Rob Walsh

I tried so hard to avoid the reality in that moment but proceeded to watch the rest of the results roll in, which only added to my defeatedness.  I felt like there was something I could have done to get involved prior to the election that I had not done.

I felt like I was disconnected from my community.

I felt like I was part of the problem.  

I felt like I had to do something about it.

One day while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw that my friend Alex had marked “interested” in an event that read “Listen for a Change: Immigration, Black Lives Matter, Transgender Rights.”  

 My interest was immediately sparked as I saw such important and controversial topics in front of me - and I saw this as an open conversation with the community.

 I had to go to this event and hear these stories.

I noticed there would be limited space at the event, and I didn’t think getting tickets would be easy, so I used that as an opportunity to inquire about volunteering.  Not only did I really want to attend this event, but I also wanted to be apart of this movement, it felt like a way for me to get involved in my community in positive and relevant way.

 I got a response on volunteering a few days later and was elated!

The day the event rolled around, I was excited and a little nervous not knowing what to expect.  I met Thai, the founder of Listen for a Change. He explained how the night would pan out and my duties. I would be checking in people at the door. The crowd started entering and I felt out of my comfort zone, as I didn’t know anyone there and I had to talk to as many people as possible.

 It was so refreshing.

I met so many people from so many different backgrounds, something I find hard to come across in San Francisco these days.

IMG_1840.JPG

As the event progressed, each story was captivating and beautifully recounted.  I had tears rolling down my face throughout the event. I was moved in ways I had not been in a long time. Listening to these stories put me in each speaker’s shoes.  It was so powerful and a strong reminder that everyone has a story. I felt truly inspired and empowered on this evening, and it gave me so much hope in my newfound community and beyond.

Since this beautiful evening, I have continued to volunteer with the Listen for a Change movement. I started off coordinating volunteers for our Storytelling events to helping plan the Night in Bold fundraising gala for the organization to now working on sales and buying for the non-profit.  

Since our early days, my input has been listened to, to help shape the organization. Being around the Listen for a Change community and attendees is such a positive feeling, I feel proud to be apart of it!

 

Short Bio & Image of Meghan. - sent some images to Thai

Bio : Meghan is Indian American girl born and raised in the Bay Area. She works as a product manager in mobile games and also teaches yoga in San Francisco. Meghan works on Sales and Purchasing  for Listen for A Change. In her free time she loves cooking, exercising, spending time with loved ones, and finding ways to quiet the mind.


If you’re interested in joining the Listen for a Change Volunteer team, we are welcoming you with open arms!   Come to our next storytelling hour or feel free to message us, we’re excited to see new faces!  Follow us on Instagram & join the movement.

Thai Chu