Raleigh Rescue Mission is pleased to welcome our new Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, Carla Tuttle. Carla is a North Carolina native and moved to Wake County in 2006 with her husband of 29 years, Greg. As high school English teachers, they have dedicated their lives to loving and serving others.
Carla started her role at Raleigh Rescue Mission in June after recently retiring from teaching. Her 28-year education career boasts being a two-time Teacher of the Year (and one-time finalist for WCPSS Teacher of the Year), Wake County English curriculum writer, and English Department Chair at Apex Friendship High School.
“I’ve felt led by God for the past several years that I’m supposed to be doing something more,” said Carla. “My career in education was very important, and I know I had a meaningful impact on thousands of students – but this is what I’m supposed to do now.”
Carla has been connected to Raleigh Rescue Mission for some time as a donor, both financially and by organizing school-wide drives with her students.
“I was really excited that this job opened up because I was already familiar with the organization and very passionate about their work,” said Carla. “I knew I wanted to do something that focused on racial, educational, and economic equity, and the Mission encompasses all of those things.”
Carla’s start at Raleigh Rescue Mission has been even sweeter than expected. “I don’t think I have ever felt more appreciated than I have in the past month and a half of working here,” she said. The new volunteer trainings use her skill set well, as she gets to teach others about what the Mission does.
Carla wants volunteers to know that the New Life Plan clients are regular people who have had to undergo some difficult circumstances recently. Pulling from her English lessons, Carla references journalist Anna Quindlen’s article “Homeless” to explain what volunteers should understand when interacting with clients.
“In our society, we tend to treat homelessness as an issue and we forget to see the people,” she said. “Everything we do at the Mission is all about the people, all about our clients. Giving them the support and encouragement they need is paramount to everything we do. Even if you’re just stacking some clothes in a closet or helping me type up a document or leading some fun activity – everything is for the benefit of the client in some capacity.”
Who’s the ideal volunteer? Someone who is joyful and wants to be here, said Carla. Volunteering shouldn’t be viewed as something on a checklist, but instead as a way to serve others.
“Ultimately, that’s our whole purpose in life – as Christ served us,” she said. “Our volunteers have the opportunity to have a kingdom impact. Our mission statement says that we believe that everyone has sacred value and we want to equip individuals to impact the world for good through the love of Jesus Christ. Our volunteers are part of that. We want them to know that they are impacting others by being willing to give up their time and energy to serve others.”
Many volunteer opportunities are currently available, ranging from a one-time special event to a long-term commitment. If you’re interested in volunteering, see the full list of opportunities online.
Welcome to Raleigh Rescue Mission, Carla! We are blessed to have you and thankful for the faithful ways you serve our community.