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Volunteer Spotlight: Dave Krahn
By July Zheng, case management intern

Dave Krahn is Daily Work’s most committed ambassador. His name practically personifies Daily Work. Dave has been volunteering with Daily Work since 2005 in every capacity possible, as a board member, board chairman, volunteer executive director, donor, and now as a case manager working personally with job seekers.

When I first saw Dave, I sensed he is very kind, friendly and warm-hearted. I immediately started to relax as we talked because he is so nice and easy to talk to. Dave told me that he learned about Daily Work as a member of Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, where Daily Work is located.

“I wanted to find a way to contribute to the local community,” Dave said.  “The pastor at that time, Sue Tjornehoj, asked if I would be interested in Daily Work. That was 12 years ago.”  

I am really impressed by how long Dave has been involved with Daily Work. It is hard to be persistently committed to the same thing for such a long time. Dave talked more about his commitment to and passion for Daily Work.

“I am passionate about Daily Work because it connects people who might not otherwise be connected. Being involved at Daily Work makes more evident our shared humanity…our commonality. It is in such contrast with how the world works. We are very separated from each other; we don’t spend much time truly getting to know each other,” Dave said.

Dave went on to say, “At the core, I feel that we really are all the same. We may we look different and on the surface, we may act different. But if we really get to know each other, we all want the same things…to be able to live independently and support ourselves, to be able to care for our families, and to have choices about how we live our lives.”

Daily Work helps people achieve those things and more. By building community and relationships, we get to know each other and break down walls. By supporting job seekers, we expose them to new opportunities to succeed.

“Yes, we help people get jobs, but we also help people keep their hope and their confidence. Dave said.

I very much agree with Dave’s ideas. Every case manager at Daily Work tries their best to engage with job seekers, hear their stories, and show empathy. We strive to ensure that job seekers know their case managers really care about them.

Dave told me about a man he met at church recently. “John” is a homeless veteran. He is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and he is sleeping on public transportation. He doesn’t have any form of identification, making it hard for him to get help from homeless shelters or other service providers. Dave helped John get a hat and gloves and some money for the bus. He also referred him to Daily Work for more help.

“I was glad I was there to meet him. I think we exist to help others. Here’s a guy who’s gotten a bad deal. If we can help him be better off, we’ll all be better off,” Dave said. To me it’s a combination of seeing needs and how I can relate to those needs. [Volunteering] makes a difference to me and to other people, and ultimately the community and the world. These things all work together. They really cannot be separated,” Dave said.

Dave’s advice to people reading this, “Talk to someone you never talk to. Open yourself up to getting to know people that may appear different than you…and you’ll find out that we’re all in the same boat.”

 

 

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