Joe Wilson has been a long-time member of the financial review committee of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA but he recently decided to broaden his involvement when his church announced a volunteer activity with a legal aid ministry called Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA).
“Volunteering my time is something I’ve been more interested in recently,” he says, referencing some of his friends from the church community who speak often of their service activities.
Joe participated in a church-based team the evening of October 6 to serve burritos and other Latin inspired food to 25 recent immigrants and their families from South American countries that provided Trinity Presbyterian, working to provide as much of a sense of home as possible.
This was a good learning experience and an introduction to an organization Joe never knew existed. RILA provides low-cost or pro bono legal support to immigrants from El Salvador and other Central American countries seeking the legal status to be employed in the United States. In addition to counsel, RILA also provides community support to populations of vulnerable individuals fleeing political instability in their countries, hence the relationship with Trinity Presbyterian.
Joe says he was deeply impressed. “You see and get to contribute to the human needs of people when you’re participating in a community service event like this. I had a chance to talk to the RILA staff as well as to their clients who they were there to serve.”
He also spoke with others from his church whom he’d never interacted with before, having only seen by attending weekly service. It was a chance to turn familiar faces at his church into friends and acquaintances.
“I would do this again,” Joe confirms. “As I consider how to spend my time in future retirement, getting more involved with organizations and causes such as this seems like a useful endeavor.”
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