Meet Our Volunteers

Eden's Superstar Volunteers

We are so proud of the volunteers who choose to give their time to our affordable communities and residents. If you're interested in volunteering with Eden, please go to Volunteer with Eden Housing.

Below is Eden Housing's Volunteer of the Month

Name: Jay Christian              
 
Properties:  Multiple Sites; Bank of the West's Fraud Bingo
 
Why did you choose to volunteer with Eden Housing? I was introduced to it by a former colleague and friend, Alison Shirey. She was one your volunteer of the year recipient last year. She moved out of state and but I wanted to keep the partnership going with Eden Housing. I truly believe that Financial education and fraud awareness for the elderly population is extremely important, especially for the low-income seniors. 
 
What have you done as a volunteer? Please describe your role and what you have worked on. I’m one of the volunteer champions for Bank of the West and my role is to create volunteer opportunities that qualifies as a Community Development (CD)/ Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) event. I have partnered with various elementary schools in Oakland and Independence High school in San Jose to teach Financial literacy to kids. With Eden Housing it’s a lot different and fun. Through a simple and fun game of Bingo, we teach seniors about fraud prevention, bring awareness about elder financial abuse and give out "Prizes" from the "grab bag". This is a very fun event indeed. We do our best to engage the attendees and encourage them to ask questions and also share their personal experiences if they were ever a victim of fraud. It’s a great way to share what to do and what not to do and learn from each other. 
 
What have you learned through your volunteer experience?  Every single volunteer event with Eden Housing has been fun and a learning experience. I’ve learned about teamwork and collaboration, public speaking and most importantly learning to listen. I was surprised by how many Eden Housing locations there are to be honest. 
 
What do you like the best about volunteering with Eden Housing? I love the staff at all of the Eden Housing locations that we have volunteered so far. Leah Cerri and Alyssa Santos are especially amazing. We love the interaction with all of the seniors and love the joy a simple game of Bingo bring to them.  We also love how they help each other during the Bingo participation. It’s a lot different than the huge bingo events that I’ve witnessed at various casinos, where it is “you against the world”. I enjoy traveling so I’m glad that Alyssa provides so many locations and opportunities for us to organize our Bingo events.  
 
Are there any tips that you would share for someone else who is considering volunteering? Volunteering is not just number of hours you are trying to fill for your company’s CRA goal. It’s more than that. It’s about giving back to the community and sharing your skills and knowledge. We all have specific professional and/or personal set of skills. Why not share them with others to benefit the community. Don’t be afraid to take on new volunteer challenges. You will learn new practical skills, gain hands-on experience and explore one’s passion.  
 
Tell us something we may not know about you.  Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life? In the summers of 1986 and 1987, I volunteered to build houses in Costa Rica with Amy Carter, former president Jimmy Carter’s daughter. As part of AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity, we also taught personal hygiene to children and mothers and  raised awareness of HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment. This year I was going to participate in the AIDS LifeCycle Bike ride. It is a fully supported seven day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angles. A total of 545 miles bike ride to raise money to reduce new HIV infections and improve quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. Due to COVID-19 virus concerns, it was cancelled, but now will take place in June 2021. I have re-registered so my training will not be halted and also will continue to raise money for this great cause. 

 

If you're interested in volunteering with Eden, please go to Volunteer with Eden Housing.

COMPANIES AND GROUPS: Interested in volunteer opportunities for corporate partners and groups?

We'd love to host you! Click here.



 

eden housing does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or any other arbitrary basis.