Erin Kiel, Volunteer Coordinator at Munger Place Church
Hi! My name is Erin Kiel and this is my first summer serving with Project Transformation North Texas as a Volunteer Coordinator at Munger Place Church, but my story with PT starts many years ago. My church back home in Plano has long sent volunteers to read with kids at Casa Linda UMC and I have memories of helping with the Reading Program long before I was probably old enough to be there! We also had a lot of people that went through our youth program at church go on to be PT Corps Members at PT once they were in college.
Growing up, I saw these familiar faces talk to our congregation with their PT green polos on and heard them speak about the incredible experience they were having as they lived in community with over 100 other college students and served children at site locations all over Dallas. I truly looked up to them. “I want to be a part of that someday,” I’d think to myself.
Fast forward to my junior year of college and two women that are starting up the Central Texas chapter over in Fort Worth came to talk at my Wesley Foundation on campus. I was so excited because this was a ministry I was so familiar with through my church. I hadn’t thought about Project Transformation in a while, but they encouraged me to apply and I had the additional encouragement of my friend Sammy Ramirez who is a Kid-to-Corps Member. Sammy grew up in the program in Dallas, went on to attend college, and has since served several summers as a PT Corps Member.
I remember calling my mom and telling her that I wanted to serve with Project Transformation in the summer. Speaking those words over the phone, I felt so incredibly at peace. I knew God had been at work throughout my life to bring me to this place, to this community, and this summer of service. It’s an amazing feeling to have finally come to this moment, and this experience has been nothing but transformative. I have formed bonds with the other PT Corps Members (most of whom I didn’t know at the start of this summer) that I know will last a lifetime. These kids have loved on me more than I feel like I could ever even love on them. Working with the volunteers as part of my job has given me a sense of purpose this summer in connecting church members and volunteers with Project Transformation’s mission.
Writing this now, I’m humbled by the ways in which God has been at work in my life and continues to work. I’m so happy that Project Transformation has been a part of my journey!