Give Back, Get Back — Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Cavalleri
If you were to ask Mark Cavalleri how God transformed his life, his answer would be service. Once riddled with depression, substance abuse, and unwise choices, Mark’s earlier life played out very similar to many guests at the Mission. In his 30’s with no job, no home, no car, and nowhere else to turn, he moved back in with his parents. Seeing his pain, Mark’s mother gave him this advice: “When you’re hurting, go help others.”
Since his mother’s passing in 2011, Mark has allowed those words and the favor of Christ to transform him. He now has a successful career, a happy life, and a fulfilling purpose through service. After years of volunteer work at other local organizations, Mark recalls crying tears of joy as he toured the Mission for the first time earlier this year, “You can just feel the presence of [God] in this place.”
In the past six months, Mark has planned monthly themed events from Christmas in July to a Back-to-School Carnival and more. In his short time, he has witnessed two young girls accept Christ during his Bible Trivia night, honed his administration and organizational skills, and invited his coworkers and company to join in his mission of giving back.
“For me to serve is to be whole,” Mark shares. He claims his choice to give back is not altruistic as he, in turn, receives joy, meaning, and a new understanding of Christ’s character. To others struggling to find peace or on the fence about giving back, Mark shares, “There’s somebody out there hurting right now. And you have the exact unique set of talents, gifts, and skills to go serve that person. Go find them. What you’re going to find is you’re going to feel better walking away than they will.”