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Towne Salute: Jayme Dingler of Talbot Interfaith Shelter

Jun 30, 2017 03:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds

By Caley Breese

For someone who has a full-time job and is a part-time professional musician, you would think volunteering might be out of the question. Jayme Dingler, however, has made the time for it and has many wonderful relationships at Talbot Interfaith Shelter as a result.

“I felt like I was doing really well, and I wanted to do something that made me more of a complete person. And to me, part of that is giving back to others,” Dingler smiles.

Dingler, who moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004, has been incredibly involved with the Talbot Interfaith Shelter since she began volunteering at the end of 2013. While she is flexible and helps where she’s needed, Dingler primarily assists with their communications and marketing, which includes sending out press releases, email blasts, and newsletters, working the social media pages, and marketing events. She is also currently serving her second term on the Board of Directors and is a team leader for volunteers who help with morning and evening supervision, as well as dinner.

“The way that our volunteer supervision system works is that we have 31 volunteer teams—one for every day of the month,” Dingler explains. “And they’re responsible for morning supervision, evening supervision, and dinner for their day of the month. And I’m a team leader for the sixth of every month.”

Talbot Interfaith Shelter began in January of 2009; however, it did not have an established location at that time. The shelter could only house five individuals initially, and would have to find a new home base every week or two, such as various church basements.

“They’d have to pick up and move every week to two weeks to a different location, and someone would come twice a week to take them to the Y to take a shower,” Dingler describes. “And it was cots separated by a wall made up of a sheet—a PVC pipe and a sheet. That was your privacy.”

Since then, the shelter has made a lot of progress. On November 30th, 2014, it moved into its current location on Goldsborough Street in Easton. It can now house about 15 people.

“I love our volunteer base. They’re incredible. They spend so much time with the guests and develop fantastic relationships. They’re so supportive!” Dingler smiles.

And while the shelter is always graciously accepting volunteers, Dingler stated that just last year, they had approximately 450 individual volunteers for shelter supervision.

“It’s more than just giving them a roof over their head; it’s giving them the stability to get back on their feet, and the dignity to have the confidence to know that they can do it.” Dingler says. “I just believe in what we’re doing so much. And I see the results. I see not just families, but individuals, getting back on their feet. And when they come back to visit, they’re so happy and they’re doing so well.”

To Dingler, Talbot Interfaith Shelter is much more than just giving an individual or a family somewhere to stay; it’s about the support and the relationships that develop.

“I just wanted to be a part of a support system for someone else. I have the ability to do it. It’s just been really fulfilling,” Dingler smiles. “To be able to be part of the system that lifts them up is really gratifying.”

For more information on Talbot Interfaith Shelter, visit talbotinterfaithshelter.org 

Do you have a volunteer to nominate? Email Nicole Gould at Ngould@WhatsUpMag.com

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