Volunteer Spotlight: The Gobezies’ family time and community service
Reuben and Courtney Gobezie started volunteering with their family at the City Mission in Cleveland when their first two children, Grant, now 19, and Gaege, 17, were only three and one years old. Reuben, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of the Gobezie Shoulder Institute, was extraordinarily busy, but he was determined to spend time with his family and serve his community.
That commitment – family time and community service – became a fun tradition involving the entire family, including Greta and Grace, the younger siblings.
When Reuben and Courtney moved to Orlando, they found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, and the entire family has been volunteering ever since: making and serving dinners, volunteering at holiday banquets, and sponsoring special events like an educational science show for our kids or a Bingo and Fancy Chocolate Night for our adults. The family even hosted a Christmas party with a live nativity and petting zoo with a camel.
Courtney and Reuben wanted to ensure their children understood the importance of the ones Christ called “the least of these, my brothers and sisters”. So, they set a remarkable example, volunteering with their kids and immersing them in a giving and compassionate environment. “If you don’t model it as parents, the kids aren’t going to do it either. So, if you want your child to serve, then you need to bring them,” Courtney explains.
“At the Mission, you get to see a lot of transformed lives. People whose lives have been drastically changed by Jesus. There’s power in seeing that,” Courtney says. Volunteering as a family has not only given the Gobezies firsthand encounters with guests whose relationships with Christ have changed their lives, but it has also cultivated their children’s spiritual growth. “It’s so beautiful seeing Jesus in our children by the way they interact with the homeless. It’s just so natural how they want to give to others and help those in need,” says Rueben proudly.