Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month

October 1, 2019

Mark Grovhough
Name:  Mark Grouvhough
Program: Eden Savers Financial Coach

Why did you choose to volunteer with Eden Housing?

I was looking for an opportunity to work with low income people to help improve their situation in any way I can.  My goal was to use my knowledge and life experience to assist and guide others to improve their lives while moving one step closer to their goals in life.  Eden Housing provides classes and coaching to residents in their affordable housing complexes.  This gave me several options to volunteer with residents in a central location. 

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

As a financial coach I worked one-on-one with low income Eden Housing residents to help them improve their financial well-being, set meaningful financial goals and develop actionable steps to achieve those goals.   My client’s top two goals were to save more money and improve their credit score.   We created a budget to get a clear understanding of the family income and where the money was going.  We identified areas to reduce spending and agreed upon a monthly saving goal.  I then showed them how to obtain their credit reports which we reviewed and identified ways to resolve issues creating a path to better credit.

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

I’ve learned that when dealing with something as sensitive as finances it is important to form a caring relationship to let them know you are there to help and can be trusted.  This relationship is the foundation to having open and honest discussions.

What do you like best about volunteering with Eden Housing?

 The volunteer coordination and on-site staff were a pleasure to work with.  They provided training up front and were very responsive with the many questions I had along the way.

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

If you’re like me, you may want to help others but don’t know if you have the knowledge, experience or skills necessary.  Believe me you do and you will realize it the first time you volunteer.  You can have an impact on the people you help and the relationships you form will enrich your life as well.

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

I like to do art with my kids and spend time with each separately. I like to cook and one day I hope to have my own food truck.