“Giri is an absolute joy to have at the Center! Since the time that he’s been here he is reliable, attentive to the needs of community members and personable. He exemplifies the type of personality that we like to have volunteering with us. I’m thankful to acknowledge the contributions that Giri has provided to the Community Programs Department and grateful that he is here with us at the Center. A very well deserved Volunteer of the Month for September.
Community Programs Coordinator
Center: You are involved with our Information & Referral program; what inspires you to continue volunteering with the Center?
GA: Volunteering with Information & Referral program is a great learning opportunity for me. Not only am I learning something new about the resources that serve our community, but I also get to learn from the fabulous center staff. It is also a great chance to meet a variety of guests, from folks who are looking for housing resources, health clinics, support groups, small business or tax information to tourists visiting San Francisco, wanting to know more about the LGBT community here.
Center: How has volunteering at the Center challenged you personally?
GA: As a software professional in silicon valley, my interactions with people are rather minimal, and for the most part one is cocooned away from the problems of the world at large in the tall gleaming office towers of high tech firms that dot our area. Volunteering with the Center is a great way for me to meet folks in LGBT community, understand the day to day challenges that folks in our community continue to face. There is so much more that needs to be done and I am so glad to be a part of an organization like the Center that is doing all this wonderful work to help the community at large. I am constantly reminded of a Robert Frost's line, "miles to go before I sleep".
Center: Is there a memory that sticks out in the time that you’ve been volunteering with the Center?
GA: There are so many. If I were to pick one, it would this Japanese lady visiting from Tokyo just walking in to get directions to the LGBT museum but was so excited to see our Youth Space. She runs a similar program on Tokyo and was so happy to accidentally connect with us and learn about our programs and use this knowledge to improve theirs. Just made me realize that what we do at the Center could be a model for so many places across the globe.