While in between jobs in the summer of 2011, Nancy Francis decided she wanted to use her free time investing in something that was purposeful, meaningful and lasting. After hearing about Casa Chirilagua over and over again at her church, Grace Community Church, and from her sister, she decided the time was ripe to jump in and give it a shot.
On one particular day in July, Nancy showed up to the Summer Kids Club program and the students have had her heart ever since. It didn’t take long for the children to grow particularly fond of Ms. Nancy either. This was evident at the end of the day when the children would cling to her as they begged her to walk them home or come visit them in their homes. Ms. Nancy kept coming back, almost every day, to volunteer. By the end of the summer, we knew that Ms. Nancy had become part of the Casa Chirilagua family.
In addition to volunteering at Kids Club, Nancy became a super star volunteer across the board. Any time there was a Casa Chirilagua event, Nancy was there. From the Art of Restoration to the Turkey Rally, Nancy helped make it happen. Nancy has also become an advocate for Casa Chirilagua, waiving the proverbial banner wherever she goes and encouraging others to get involved. In October, she dedicated almost a week of her time to travel to Indianapolis with the Casa Chirilagua crew for the annual CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) conference to deepen her understanding of ministry in a cross-cultural urban context. Upon our return from the conference, Nancy signed up to be a one-to-one student mentor. In December of 2011, we extended an invitation to Ms. Gomez to utilize her background and skills in finance to serve on the Casa Chirilagua board. For her dedication and excitement to serve, we name Nancy Francis the February 2011 Casa Chirilagua volunteer of the month.