In the Volunteer Spotlight we recognize a Youth Service, Inc. volunteer making an impact in the communities we serve. Julia McGrath volunteers at Baring House Crisis Nursery.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Julia McGrath. I am a recent graduate of Drexel’s Couple and Family Therapy master’s program. I have lived in Philadelphia since 2016 and love this city. Before becoming a therapist, I always had an interest in helping others especially children! I have been a preschool teacher, camp counselor and student mentor over the years.

Q: How long have you been volunteering at YSI?

I started volunteering in April 2019 and it has been an absolute pleasure to become friendly with the staff and help out in any way I can. I will miss volunteering here once I start working as a therapist full time.

Q: Why did you choose YSI when you were looking for a place to volunteer?

At my first clinical placement I worked with families who were experiencing extreme disadvantage and systemic oppression. Often times, the parents did not have someone to turn to for childcare in an emergency, when they needed to go to interviews or appointments, or when they were feeling overwhelmed by care-giving demands. I knew I wanted to volunteer at a crisis nursery because I believe they fill a critical gap in the way communities support families.  I wish I had known about YSI earlier!

Q: Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

Volunteering is an enriching experience that can bring a lot of warmth and meaning into your day to day life. Giving your time and energy to your community, region or city strengthens it. Volunteering is a means to focus that energy to an area where it could truly make a significant impact. When there is so much pain and suffering going on, often closer to us than we realize, it is important to not turn a blind eye and stay in your own bubble. Most of us could spare a few hours of our time to support one another and enjoy the connections that develop between people you may not have otherwise crossed paths with!