CAMP Rehoboth Opens Doors
If our ACTions truly speak louder than words, then the ImpACT of CAMP Rehoboth is most evident not only in our advocacy work, but in the day-to-day programs, classes, free counseling, and health testing we offer that touch individual lives. The Membership Matters team is bringing you one story monthly to help celebrate the successes your membership gift and matching donations make possible. Stay tuned each issue to see how even a minor ACTion can have a huge impact on one—or many—lives in our community.
“I’m a servant. I love to help,” says Rob Jasinski, a longtime member of CAMP Rehoboth’s Men’s Discussion Group—and oh, so much more.
Rob sought out the group five years ago, after a long-term relationship—that culminated in his move to Rehoboth to embark on a new life—foundered, and he found himself alone, with no local friends or familiar activities.
A visitor to Rehoboth for years, he was aware of CAMP Rehoboth and regularly read Letters. He recalled reading about the Men’s Discussion Group, and reached out to Salvatore Seeley, CAMP Rehoboth’s Director of Health & Wellness Programs. Sal extended his characteristic warm welcome and invited Rob to attend the group’s next meeting.
“That meeting began as they all do,” says Rob, “with introductions around the circle of attendees. But when my turn came, I just began to cry. Everyone immediately gathered around me to offer support and comfort. There went the agenda for that evening’s meeting! The meeting turned out to be ‘all about me.’”
The group continued to be supportive and uplifting across many meetings, says Rob, as he continued to adapt to his new community and circumstances. “At some point, the guys began to encourage me to start volunteering; they thought it’d help me take the focus off myself and put it onto others.” It turned out to be exactly what he needed to hear.
Knowing he liked music, one man suggested Rob reach out to Clear Space Theatre. That led to an ushering “gig” two or three nights each month, with subsequent opportunities to volunteer in other capacities. He now volunteers at Milton Theatre as well.
Another man pointed him toward Epworth United Methodist Church, where he became active in the weekly soup kitchen.
He’s participated in the AIDS Walk, and with the reading of the names. He’s a volunteer at Rehoboth’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
And CAMP Rehoboth, of course, offered its own opportunities as Rob fashioned his new life and claimed his new community. “I’ve worked with the CROP [CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program] Team; I’ve helped with Women’s FEST and VegFest. (I’m a vegetarian, so that’s a great fit!) I’ve worked in the auction room, with Sal, at Sundance; I’ll help this year with the Sun Festival.”
Rob has stayed active in the Men’s Discussion Group, too, noting that “the group was a big turning point for me; I want to help it be that for others.”
Five years from that fateful first meeting with the discussion group, Rob says, “I love CAMP. The people I’ve met here opened doors for me throughout the community, and gently pushed me through them. I now know loads of people through volunteering. I’m a firm believer in paying it forward; CAMP Rehoboth helped me find so many ways to live out that belief.” ▼