Volunteer of the Month: August

 

This month, we get to celebrate one of our most beloved volunteers at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley, Tawnie Lehman! Tawnie joined our Family Promise volunteer team in 2010 and has been working as a Volunteer Coordinator for Pilgrim Congregational Church ever since. When she joined our team, she began to change lives one Family Promise hosting week at a time.

Tawnie was nominated by many of her fellow volunteers for this award. One volunteer, Vonnie Glenn said, “She is absolutely awesome with the families who go through Pilgrim for a week. She spends most of the evenings with them, greets them after work, visits with them about their day during dinner, helps serve the evening meals and makes sure everything gets cleaned up, and makes sure the volunteers are all there doing their thing they promised to do. They all are treated like her extended family. She is THE BEST! The kids love her, too.”

Another volunteer, Rusty Swingle said, “Jack and Tawnie Lehman do all scheduling and they both host every evening to give continuity to our church’s reception of the families.” Tawnie and her husband (who both deserve this award!) have contributed countless hours to our program. We are so grateful for their time and energy! Now, let’s learn a little more about Tawnie and what makes her tick!

Name, Occupation:
Tawnie Lehman
Retired Human Resource Administrator

How long have you been volunteering for Family Promise and how did you get involved?

I began volunteering in Fall of 2010 when my husband and I moved to Bozeman from Southern California. I had Co-coordinated an interfaith shelter for single adults at our church in CA for about 22 years. Finding this type of program was something I planned on doing when we moved to Bozeman. Just so happened that shortly after we began attending Pilgrim they were hosts for Family Promise. I signed up and was immediately hooked.

Why do you volunteer?

I love helping others and this is an amazing avenue to do just that. I have been very blessed in my life. Helping these families is one way I can share those blessings with others.

What is your favorite part of volunteering for Family Promise?

I love to just be there for our guests and help them to feel that for the week they are at our church it is their home. Many if not all of our families are hurting, scared and feel like they are all alone. Simply being present to listen, care and give support with no expectations is amazing. One mother thanked me and expressed how grateful she was for our help. I thanked her back and told her I always receive more than our families do.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time serving Family Promise?

I just love sitting around the dinner table with the families and watching them relax and feel like they are safe and cared for.

Do you belong to a congregation or are you an unaffiliated volunteer?

Member of Pilgrim Congregational

Do you have any kids and/or pets?
I have a son, daughter-in-law and 2 granddaughters in Florida.
and a daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandsons in Arizona.

We have 2 dogs, Baylee our Lab and Millie our pit bull mix.

From looking at you, no one would guess that…..
I used to be very shy especially in large unfamiliar crowds

Favorite place to eat:
Love all sorts of food
Do enjoy Rib and Chop House in Livingston but then who doesn’t!!!

What’s on your book shelf?
Love to read all sorts of books but Sidney Sheldon, James Patterson, David Baldacci and Patricia Cornwell are my favorite mystery authors. Also love anything to do with Indian/Western history.

Who’s your hero?

My husband Jack is my hero. We are high school sweethearts. He has always been my best friend and my rock.

Congrats Tawnie (and Jack!) for this award. We are so thankful to have you on the Family Promise team!