Meet Rachel: Boston College student volunteer

Boston College student volunteer Rachel

Boston College student gives back

What started as a requirement for Boston College student Rachel Parris turned into a three-year endeavor that Rachel looks forward to every week. Now a senior at BC, Rachel began volunteering at St. Francis House during her sophomore year for a service-learning class at BC called PULSE. Hoping to draw upon her volunteer work with shelters in high school, Rachel toured St. Francis House when deciding where to serve and fell in love with the spirit of St. Francis house almost immediately.

Life-changing lessons learned

One of Rachel’s most cherished memories of her three years volunteering at St. Francis House is one of when she painted nails in the Women’s Center. While painting nails, Rachel carried on casual conversations with the women. When Rachel finished one woman’s manicure, the woman thanked Rachel, not only for the beautiful manicure she had given her but also for talking with her not as a homeless woman but simply as a human being. She thanked Rachel for not judging her for her appearance or for making assumptions about her simply because she was homeless. Rachel never forgot this woman and the life-changing lesson she taught her.

Something special

It is these moments and countless others that keep Rachel coming back to St. Francis House every week. Rachel remarked that when she is away from St. Francis House, she feels a void in her life; she misses the guests and staff members. Rachel noted, “There is something special about St. Francis House. I can’t describe it, but you feel it as soon as you walk through the door.”