The Bridge to Get Here: Introducing QVS Fellow Kirsten Fedorowicz10/31/2019 by Rebecca Toews
Guest blog by Kirsten Fedorowicz, Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow
In April 2019, during my last semester at college in Michigan, I finished with my third interview with a Twin Cities area nonprofit. If all went well and I was accepted into Quaker Voluntary Service, I would doing an eleven month fellowship with one of them.
After I hung up the phone, I knew that Bridging was the right place for me. Bridging focuses on the dignity and voice of the client, which is what I was looking for in my year of service work. They prioritize sustainability in a way that, even 30+ years into practice, feels innovative. And, of course, it didn’t hurt that my future supervisors laughed when I called myself an “icebreaker queen” during my interview.
Four months later, in early September, I walked into Bridging’s door for the first time. I expected Bridging to be a positive work environment, but every staff member and volunteer I met blew me away with their kindness and passion for the work. I feel so lucky to be part of this organization.
What I do
I work as the Client Services Fellow and as a member of the Roseville Warehouse Team. In these roles, I’m fortunate enough to see the entire process a client goes through: from reaching out with questions about what to expect on their shopping trip, to having their appointment and receiving their furniture, and finally to life after their furniture is received.
Here’s how it works!
As the Client Services Fellow, I interact with potential clients over the phone, helping them navigate our referral process. The Client Services Department has been great about playing to my strengths; so far, I’ve done research on possible partnerships and designed process documents. On the days I work in the client services department, I get to work as a shopper and a packer during client shopping time.
The other half of my time I spend working with the Roseville Warehouse Team. We deliver furniture to clients, pick up furniture that is being donated, load and unload trucks, help manage volunteer groups, and (much to the shock of my mother) I also drive our delivery trucks!
What is Quaker Voluntary Service?
Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) is a year for young adults to live in an intentional community while engaging in activism by taking on a role with a local nonprofit. I live in Minneapolis with five other folks who work at different organizations around the metro. Though we all come from different places and backgrounds (I’m one of two who have experienced the frigid cold of a Midwestern winter!), we work together to build a safe, meaningful space where we can grow as individuals and as a group.
This is the second year QVS has been in Minneapolis and the second year they have partnered with Bridging. Bridging is my first full time job and I love coming to work every day; there’s always something new to do and learn. I’m so excited to continue learning and growing in my year with Bridging.