Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month

November 4, 2019

Catherine Lee
Name:  Catherine Lee
Program: Eden Savers Financial Coach

Why did you choose to volunteer with Eden Housing?

I found the Financial Coach volunteer opportunity through Eden’s post on VolunteerMatch.  It attracted my attention because it’s an opportunity that allows me to help the individual to set financial goals and coach him/her to have a better financial situation.

What have you done as a volunteer?  Please describe your role and what you have worked on.

I started as a financial coach volunteer in June (2019). My initial goal was to build the relationship with the client.  My client is a young woman with a child; she is very friendly and open to me.  We’ve talked about her life, her child and her work. Additionally, we’ve talked about her goal and her dreams for the future.  We have built quite a friendly rapport. As her coach, I do not tell her what to do, instead, I encourage her to reach her dreams and goals for the future. Recently, she’s been working on paying off her some of the debt and saving some money, when possible.

What have you learned through your volunteer experience?  Have there been any surprises?

Financial coaching is to help clients develop healthy and lasting money habits.  I learned quite a bit throughout my volunteering at a coach. For example,  

a. Empower the client to take responsibility for his/her decision.

b. Encourage her/him when they have made good money management decisions.

c. Help analyze the situation and make some recommendations.

d. Help them track their financial records and remind them if some area needs more attention.

What do you like best about volunteering with Eden Housing?

Eden housing staff are very nice and responsive.  I don’t remember a time that I needed help from Eden Housing staff and no one contacted me to answer my questions. Communication from Eden Housing staff and other volunteer peers is consistent and always helpful.  I really like volunteering with Eden Housing.

Are there any tips that you would share for someone else who is considering volunteering?

Here are my tips:

a. Be committed:  to be a volunteer, especially to be a financial coach, you need to commit to spend constant time with your client.  Also, when you meet with the client, be on time, supportive and build good relationships.

b. Continue educating yourself to support the client:  provide some financial information to the client that is relevant

c. One cannot change your client’s surrounding environment, but can help them change personal habits.  The end goal is to try to help your client build a good and healthy financial habit.

Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?

I have been a tax preparer volunteer for many years for low income individuals.  I have been working with computers for many years, I have 2 daughters and a great husband.  While I am not working, I like to go shopping, visit friends and travel.  I like to be on the bus, doing meaningful work.