By: Maria Dutsar
I had the joy and honor of working for Guiding Star home for single moms and children for almost three years, beginning in September 2016. As the Home and Program Facilitator, I was managing volunteers, donations, staff scheduling, and spending quality time with the beautiful moms and children in the home.
Guiding Star has been the treasure of my time spent in Philadelphia as I worked on earning my Master’s in Professional Clinical Counseling at La Salle University. Guiding Star has stretched and shaped me—both personally and professionally. I have loved every second of my time spent there. I take so much joy in the little moments and the little things I was able to do to bond with, care for, and encourage residents and make the home more beautiful for them.
Some times were difficult (e.g. challenging dynamics in the home, the scramble to find coverage during holidays, and moments of discouragement when we did not have an opening for someone in need of housing). Guiding Star gave me a taste of the pain and suffering of the world, as I came in direct contact with the tears and labors (quite literally) of humanity, and simultaneously, it gave me the sweet taste of the victory of the Cross of Christ.
“Congratulations!” I would exclaim to a woman who shared the news of her pregnancy with me, even when she did so in a despairing tone. I would show her a cute onesie I put in her material assistance bag and I would get all excited for her, which bred excitement in her—which sometimes for her was a new and surprising emotion. I could be happy and have hope for these beautiful ladies and families because of Jesus—who He is and what He continues to do. The things I did at Guiding Star were small, but they packed a punch because they had the sweet taste of the victory of the Cross, which I aimed to hand over to each person (big and little) who I encountered. How could my every moment at Guiding Star not change me or the people for whom I worked?
Thank you to everyone at Guiding Star: staff, residents, donors, volunteers, and visitors alike who were part of my life in the last few years. You rock! Please hold me (and my soon-to-be husband, Rob) in prayer, as I will do for each one of you. God bless Guiding Star!