Volunteer of the Month Spotlight: October
A congratulations is in order for October’s Volunteer Spotlight of the Month, Melissa Augustyn! Melissa is a phenomenal volunteer who serves a very unique need at Family Promise of Gallatin Valley. She is a perfect example of how volunteers can utilize their strengths and passions to serve our homeless children with families in their own special way.
Family Promise Family Case Manager Kacie Grue nominated Melissa for this award. Kacie says, “I nominated Melissa for volunteer of the month because she has been so key in giving our guests peace of mind knowing that their pets are being taken care of while they are in the program. Melissa has provided “pet foster care” for a couple of our families now, and is always so willing to do whatever is needed. She goes above and beyond, and even takes them to the vet. She is happy to make time for our families to see their pets, and keeps us all updated on how they are doing. Melissa is also very laid back and easy going when it comes to the planning which is very helpful. We are so thankful to have volunteers like Melissa involved with Family Promise!”
Thank you, Melissa for all you do for Family Promise! Now, let’s learn a little more about this fabulous volunteer!
Melissa Augustyn, MD
Obstetrics and gynecology physician at Bozeman Deaconess Women’s Specialists
How long have you been volunteering for Family Promise and how did you get involved?
I have been a volunteer with Family Promise for about 1 year. I got involved through Journey Church after an orientation Bridget held.
Why do you volunteer?
Initially I wasn’t sure how I could help because I have minimal cooking skills and my schedule is a little crazy. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay overnight with the families or provide food. During the orientation, I discovered that the families enrolled in Family Promise often have pets that are stuck in transition too. This seemed like the perfect unmet need for me to help with. I have 2 dogs and a cat and I LOVE animals. So far I have housed a hamster, a cat, and a bunny for Family Promise!
What is your favorite part of volunteering for Family Promise?
My pets are such an important part of my family. I have trouble leaving them for even a weekend. I love being able to provide a safe place for the Family Promise pets and reassuring their owners that they will be well cared for.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time serving Family Promise?
My favorite memory is of crawling under the Family Promise house porch to rescue one families’ cat that had escaped her carrier shortly before I arrived to pick her up!
Do you belong to a congregation or are you an unaffiliated volunteer?
I attend Journey Church most weekends.
Do you have any kids and/or pets?
I have 2 German Shepherds and one black/brown tabby cat. One of my Shepherds is a therapy animal with Intermountain Therapy Animals. He and I visit two local memory care facilities in Bozeman for pet therapy. We also participate in the R.E.A.D. program that helps elementary school kids improve their reading skills by reading aloud to dogs!
From looking at you, no one would guess that…..
I am addicted to marshmallows!
Favorite place to eat:
Santa Fe Reds
What’s on your book shelf?
Books on many topics including Buddhism, metaphysical studies, nutrition, endurance sports, and dog training.
Who’s your hero?
My sister, Natalie. She and I ran our second marathon together last weekend. As of 2 years ago, she couldn’t run even 1 mile! Amazing dedication. She is truly an inspiration!
Thank you, Melissa and congrats on this award! We appreciate you!