From March 2016

Ron volunteering at UGM donation drop-off.

“In prison you dream about being free a lot. You wake up and think it seemed so vivid, but there are the bars. I still feel like I’m dreaming. It’s been [a year] and I think I’m gonna wake up and be back in prison. I still wake up thinking I’m in my jail cell…I came [to UGM] to spread the gospel ‘cause I saw so many people saying, ‘It’s too late. Life is over, it’s worthless. I’m done.’ That’s why I’m here, to say, ‘God worked in my life.’ And I tell my story, people go, ‘Really?’ And their eyes light up, ‘So there’s hope for me, too?’ I say, ‘Yeah there’s hope for you, too.’” – Ron James, volunteer   Read Ron’s full story here.

Patrick with a frozen beard!

“For me, photography is simply an excuse to get outside and challenge myself creatively. It’s been an ongoing goal to achieve a healthy work/life balance and I believe photography has made that lifestyle possible.” – Patrick Lipsker, Spokane

Self portrait by Patrick Lipsker

Follow him on Instagram.

Dycelia on Main Ave. downtown Spokane“After 12 years of being in Spokane, I realized I didn’t know anything about the city or the community. Now, I am interested in learning more and giving myself back to the community…Everyone is benefitting from the community, so how much better would it be if we all got involved?” – Dycelia Weiss, Weiss Financial Consulting

Derek in the UGM kitchen

“I wanted the job because I wanted to give back and to say thanks for what was done for me, for putting me on a path and showing me that I am worth something…This job is all about coming alongside a man and telling him, ‘Everything’s gonna be OK. You’re doing a great job here today’ and putting a little light on his life for a minute.” – Derek Mobley, UGM Men’s Shelter Kitchen Supervisor

Abigail sitting in road

“Nature helps me to remember the simple things, while trying to find peace amidst life’s chaos. It gives me a better perspective on Christ’s heart and it helps me to seek His face.

“I daydream about what I could do, and who I could be in order to help those around me. I dream about being a mother and raising my children… Loving on them, praying for them and helping them to understand every day the deep love that Jesus has for them.” – Abigail, Spokane

Photo by Clare Pursch

Mike with coffee in Boots Bakery

“Most of us, including myself, have negativity mastered. Have you noticed that there are no books titled, ‘How to Be Negative’? Trust me, I could take the easy way out and share negative posts on social media. I have to remind myself constantly to be positive. That’s one of the main reasons I share positive thoughts on social media. I’m usually preaching to myself.” – Mike Ellis, Social Media Strategist, Spokane

Bobby outside Indaba

“Spokane’s in a position where a young entrepreneur like myself, who has a lot of energy and passion and ideas, can embed himself in a community that will support him and his ideas and it’s allowed me to start a small little coffee business that’s grown into two little coffee businesses and really into a movement of people who are passionate about great coffee but also great community and giving back to the community and being connected to the community. To me, that’s why I love coffee and coffee shops because it’s a place where people rub shoulders and bump into each other and engage each other in community and relationship. It has been fun to have a little coffee shop business in a neighborhood that I live in because I’m able to serve my neighbors literally every day through my business. So that’s a lot of fun. Spokane’s a great place to live, work and play. ” – Bobby Enslow, owner,  Indaba Coffee

Mackie in Boots Bakery

“Working in a coffee shop always keeps me on my toes. I like the exciting, entertaining and eclectic people who come in that I get to meet every day.” – Mackie, Boots Bakery & Lounge, Spokane

Chelsea at the Spokane Lincoln Center“Trustworthy relationships are so crucial to success, and to have trust, you have to tell the truth! I love working for an organization that is all about trust, ethics and transparency.” – Chelsea Maguire, Better Business Bureau Northwest Development Director

Starla with her son

“I’m amazed every day by what God’s doing. He’s healing me, and because I’m getting better, my son is getting better.” – Starla, graduate of Union Gospel Mission’s LIFE Recovery in Coeur d’Alene