Can we pray for you?
Your request is a sacred trust and is kept confidential. We will also follow up with you by email to request updates so that we can adjust or change your request as your situation changes.
For more than 120 years, Volunteers of America’s ministers have been praying with and for people throughout our community.
Whatever your prayer need, finding peace of mind provides a foundation of strength to face any situation.
Our ministry team responds to requests for prayer and offers comfort and spiritual guidance for VOAWW staff, clients, and community. They meet regularly to study the bible and actively seek ways to deepen their relationship with Christ.
Housing Services Manager
Recently commissioned as a minister in 2022, Sophie answers the call of God by beginning each day with prayer, meditation, and scripture. She admires Mercy Kanda’s passion to be kingdom-minded and not let her experiences prevent her from being a servant of people, following that inspiration with compassion and empathy in her role in Housing Services, reaching out her hand to those in need day after day. When Sophie is not reading the Bible or keeping up with her kids and home, she dreams of eventually being able to see the beauty of Alaska or islands of Hawaii.
Executive Director, DRC
The mediation program is what brought Donnell to VOAWW, and she holds many certifications to support her work, including Non-Profit Management and Project Management, SHRM CP, Gallup strength coach, as well as being a certified Mediator Practitioner and Small Claims Court Mediator. This work is inspired by her wish to be part of helping people move forward out of conflict, much how she views a relationship with Jesus “transforms lives into something beautiful.” Donnell is driven, committed, and can view situations from many perspectives, giving her the ability to be an exceptional mediator and see things through to completion. Until she is able to take a mission trip to Africa or retire someplace warm and sunny, she spends every morning walking her pups five miles and finds inspiration from T.D. Jakes ministries and Joyce Meyer. She has served VOAWW since 2015.
VP of Infrastructure
Brought to VOAWW from a background working with law enforcement and in chemical dependency programs, Dixie has worn many hats through the years, and is now the VP of Infrastructure. Being a part of life-changing work is a calling for Dixie, and she believes deeply in our mission because it targets struggles with addiction, homelessness, poverty, and mental health crisis. She has a lifelong relationship with Christ and says that she feels her best opportunity to make a difference in the community is through the Word of God. If she could meet one person, it would be legendary poet Maya Angelou who has inspired generations with her literary work, service to others and who remains one of the most influential women of her time. Her quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” is close to her heart. Dixie is caring and compassionate, always looking for ways to make people feel seen and supported, so they can succeed at establishing a healthy, bright future.
VP of Development/ Lead Minister
Jessica started with Volunteers of America Western Washington in 2016 and was commissioned as a minister in 2018. Working at VOAWW gives her the ability to be part of an organization that positively impacts the community and creates a ripple effect where hope and gratitude are felt everywhere. The best part of her role at VOAWW is to build relationships with our donors and shower them with gratitude. She regularly reads local news like The Herald to stay connected with the community and the Bible to stay connected to Christ. She loves to create, whether it’s putting together delicious meals, building Legos with her son, or working on crafts. Jessica believes in devoting time to self-care and finds painting by numbers and listening to a podcast supports her emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Jessica’s favorite quote, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,” attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. As Lead Minister, she finds it aligns with a bible verse that resonates deeply:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 NIV)
VP of External Affairs
Kirk has a long history of serving others. With 29 years as a government official from Planning Commissioner to State Representative and State Senator to an appointment by President Trump as the WA State Director of USDA Rural Development. During his time in Olympia, he found fellowship with a bipartisan Christian group of legislators. Caring for each other and a faith in Jesus Christ displaced any political divide, and Kirk learned that ministry is important for those who need encouragement and prayer. He joined the ministry team to be a source of support for others. He was blessed to have a retired pastor visit once a week, “when I was a Senator, listening to me and praying for me. I remember how much I looked forward to those visits because it is not easy being away from home and being in the middle of great political policy struggles. What that pastor did for me, I want to be able to be there for others also.”
Executive Director, Personal Support Services
Brenda’s favorite quote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” led to her to push her to finally listen to a calling to become a minister, providing pastoral care to both clients and employees alike. Her path to VOA began in 2006 when a close friend described the amazing work and mission of the organization. She is able to bring some of the same qualities to her position that she admires in Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi: simplicity, truthfulness, self-confidence and an empathetic nature. Brenda feels that her patience and ability to listen are her strengths, and she loves talking with those she serves – and serves with. When she is not caring for others, she holds fast to her own goals of one day perhaps traveling to Norway, skydiving, or completing a 100-miler.
988 Program Coordinator
Shelene lives “...a life of ministry and service to others as a teacher, social worker, therapist, counselor, mother, grandmother, and friend.” She was inspired to join the VOAWW team because of our broad range of social services and wraparound care from housing and food to crisis care and more. Anyone who meets Shelene will be immediately struck by her gentleness and dignity, much like her role model, Fred Rogers. When asked who she would meet if she could choose anyone past or present, it was Mr. Rogers that came to mind. He was one of her first examples of emotional support, and Shelene admires the way he “talked the talk and walked the walk.” She says that joining the ministry team was an “obvious” choice because of her deep faith and the desire to offer encouragement and care for those in need.
Greater Columbia Crisis Line Program Manager
Jennifer was drawn to VOA almost 30 years ago, volunteering for the crisis line, but college derailed her plans just after completing the orientation. Then, while attending Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, she watched her fellow students intern with VOA. Now, coming full circle, she is the Greater Columbia Crisis Line Program Manager. She appreciates the far-reaching impacts of our programs and is blessed by being “a part of something that truly changes one life at a time.” Her greatest blessing is being a mother to six. Her daughter Alicen is one example of how her children are a deep source of inspiration and admiration. Alicen “has endured many hardships over her short life, yet she remains optimistic, gentle, kind, and ready for the next adventure… Just by showing up each and every day, [she reminds us] that the Lord is gracious, she trusts His path, and there is so much joy yet to be found in the world.” Jennifer’s position on the ministry team is an opportunity to exemplify Christ-like service to others, and faith in Jesus amid a life of struggle is the foundation that gives her a special way to connect and offer spiritual support.
Triage Clinician - Behavioral Health
The mental health field, specifically suicide prevention, has been Matthew’s focus since being discharged from the Army in 2008. He was drawn to VOAWW crisis services to be a lifeline and have “... the ability to help people going through dark times and in need of a place to be heard and feel cared for.” He has been with us in various capacities for seven years, and most currently serves as a follow-up clinician, providing aftercare once an immediate crisis has passed. Matthew has been helping others in a unique way for more than 15 years. With both the Society of American Magicians and Magicians Without Borders, his talents are a way to connect with others and offer a spark of joy and wonder. VOAWW is known as a church without walls, and Matthew was led to the ministry by a calling to help those in need through individualized pathways to healing. When not working within a VOAWW capacity, his sights are set on a few adventures on his bucket list like sharing magic with people on every continent and obtaining a Class B skydiving License for nighttime and helicopter jumps.
Financial Specialist, Personal Support Services
Eric’s drive for serving his community and colleagues with prayer and compassion called him to the ministry, where he seeks a path of personal growth in addition to advancing VOAWW as an organization. He has devoted 10 years to VOAWW, and his empathy and patience make a lasting impact in the Disability Services department where he currently serves as a Program Manager. During the times outside of this official capacity, he enjoys video chatting with his family and indulging his green thumb by tending to his many houseplants.
Benefits & Compliance Administrator
Commissioned as a minister in 2019, Lori is currently the Benefits and Compliance Administrator and has worked with VOAWW for 11 years. Her ministry service is inspired by her path back to the Lord after being lost for a time. She uses this experience to help others who are lost find their way back to God’s grace and love. Meditation and daily Bible reading are habits she has developed to strengthen her ministry service and personal wellbeing. Drawing a page from her Aunt Peggy’s book, she always looks to find the positive in any situation, even if when it’s not apparent. “There is always one there,” she says. The road ahead for Lori hopefully includes earning her college degree, swimming with sharks, and owning a tiny home where she can always find time to snuggle up to her cat, Juice.