Northeastern Student Volunteer Emma Robinson

Emma and volunteers

From Colorado to Boston

Every Tuesday morning from 7-9, Emma Robinson serves food in our kitchen for over 300 hungry guests coming through the front doors. Emma, a freshman at Northeastern University, started volunteering through the Alliance for Civically Engaged Students (ACES) at Northeastern. Incoming freshman students at Northeastern can join ACES and make a year-long commitment to serving at a local non-profit organization. Having recently moved to Boston from Colorado, Emma joined ACES as a way to both volunteer and get to know Boston.

Learning about homelessness in Boston

During ACES Welcome Week, Emma and her fellow classmates listened to panels about the various issues that local non-profits address in their work. Emma attended a “Faces of Homelessness” panel where she learned about homelessness in Boston. Inspired but what she heard, Emma felt drawn to serve at St. Francis House to both learn from guests and staff about the issue of homelessness in Boston.

Connecting with guests and volunteers

Emma enjoys volunteering in the kitchen because of the relationships she has built with both guests and other volunteers. One morning, Emma was working in the dining room, cleaning up meals and talking with guests while they ate their breakfast. Emma sat down with one guest and listened, as he willingly shared his story with her. Emma was surprised at his vulnerability and willingness to openly share his story with someone he had only just met. It is these relationships that fuel Emma’s experience at St. Francis House the most. Emma values the connections she has made with both guests and volunteers alike during her morning shifts in the kitchen.