Volunteer Spotlight!

Over 1,000 active volunteers serve The Light House. 
We believe they all make an outstanding contribution to The Light House.


November 2016
Sue and Paul Mikulski 

“What started out as 24 sandwiches a week for almost ten years, has turned into so much more!”– Sue and Paul Mikulski

Paul Mikulski, Chef Jim, Sue Mikulski and Chef Linda standing in front of The Light House Tower Gardens.

When Sue and Paul Mikulski were preparing to get married, their church suggested they adopt one of the Acts of Mercy. In 2008, as they were standing in their refurbished kitchen, they thought why not use the kitchen to make sandwiches for The Light House? Since then, they have made two dozen sandwiches a week, each and every week. If they go on vacation they either make ahead or make up when they get back. We estimate that they have hit the 10,000-sandwich mark!

The Mikulski’s generosity does not stop there. When Sue, a retired nurse and now a certified health coach and owner of the virtual franchise “Juice Plus+,” saw an email from The Light House asking for weeding help in our summer gardens, she had an idea. She had just attended a conference about Tower Gardens, a vertical system that grows plants aeroponically (without soil). Sue thought why not get The Light House a Tower Garden. A few phone calls later, Sue’s idea blossomed and between her, Paul, and several of their friends, we now have 8 Tower Gardens! Sue comes to The Light House weekly to check the water levels, check the pH of the water, add nutrients, and to do the occasional root training.

These Tower Gardens are a sustainable way for us to bring fresh produce to our residents and the Annapolis community year round. The residents come out to see how the gardens have grown and it is very therapeutic for them. Sue and Paul want to “feed the homeless like they’ve never been fed before” and we are beyond grateful to them.

“What do I get out of it? I get back way more than I give. I have met residents from all walks of life, all with a story.” – Sue and Paul Mikulski

Thank you, Sue and Paul, for your hard work, and congratulations on being featured as our November 2016 Volunteer Spotlight!



October 2016
Bill Hocking 

“Thank you… Thank you for this grand opportunity to serve.” – Bill Hocking

Bill has been volunteering with The Light House for over five years, and has been providing professional and compassionate grief counseling for residents and other community members in need. He also recently began facilitating a spirituality and grief group here at The Light House, called Deepening Circle. Bill is a well-respected community advocate for social change and spirituality, and is regarded at The Light House as “a treasure to the staff and residents.”

Bill was born in 1930 and grew up in Washington D.C. He was in the Navy for six years, earned a degree in physics from Catholic University, went on to work at the Naval Research Laboratory for our nation’s first Space Program (Project Vanguard), and had a 30+ year career with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He married his childhood sweetheart and was blessed with four children. When his wife died of cancer at a young age, Bill became a Hospice volunteer and began facilitating Grief Groups and seeing people in one-on-one grief counseling sessions. He later attended a two-year program at “The School of Shalem” for Spiritual Direction and began merging his grief work with his spirituality.

A little over five years ago, Bill was invited to attend to the grief counseling needs of the residents at The Light House. His heartfelt dedication to service has truly helped countless residence rebuild their lives. The group Bill recently started, Deepening Circle, meets twice a month with interested residents of The Light House. Facilitating this group enables Bill to merge the grief and loss of others with their spirituality. Bill says that “this activity with the life of The Light House, its staff and residents,” feeds his soul.

Bill feels “privileged to be invited into the lives of so many remarkable people during this period of his life,” and all of us at The Light House are truly privileged to be a part of Bill’s remarkable work. Thank you, Bill, for your dedication, and congratulations on being featured as our October 2016 Volunteer Spotlight!



September 2016
Janis Jank 

Janis started volunteering at The Light House in October of 2015 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. She had recently retired from Anne Arundel County Public Schools as a special educator, and was looking for the right place to get involved and make a difference through volunteering.

Janis thinks her experience as an educator and military family member taught her the significant impact that community outreach and family support has on children and families. The Light House and its many volunteer opportunities is a way for her to give back by being a part of this outreach and support. 

She became aware of The Light House through talking with friends, making periodic food donations, and doing online research. Her first volunteer position at The Light House was working as a front desk volunteer. This gave her the opportunity to get to know the staff, residents, community, and the various programs offered at The Light House.

She is also now planning activities and working with children and family members who reside at The Light House. “This is such a blessing for me!” Janis says, “we have a great time playing and engaging in the different activities. There are always smiles, hugs, and much laughter during our time together. I feel quite lucky to be a part of the Light House family!” We are quite lucky to have Janis on our team, and congratulate her on being our September 2016 Volunteer Spotlight Winner!


August 2016
Pat Cheek

Pat Cheek, a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, has been a dedicated volunteer at The Light House for over 10 years! Widely acknowledged as an official "Beacon of Light" for her tireless support over the years, Pat continues to be an invaluable part of our Light House family. Every week, she arrives early on Monday and Tuesday mornings to begin organizing our pantry donations. She also helps set up The Light House Market, where perishable goods such as fresh produce, baked goods, and even specialty items like sushi and salsa are distributed to community members in need of our assistance. Pat is exceptional at guiding our youth groups and new volunteers who come in to help with the lunch program and market. When Pat Cheek is at The Light House volunteering, we are assured that all will go smoothly with our lunch program for the day! Congratulations Pat on being our August 2016 Volunteer Spotlight Winner! 

How did you hear about The Light House and why did you select us to help?
Approximately 10 years ago my husband and I volunteered to serve dinner at The Light House with other members of our Church, St. Andrew By The Bay. During the course of setting up and cooking the meal I realized that I knew one of the residents. This gentleman had worked as a sub-contractor in the construction of a new library that was being built on the grounds of the college where I was employed. His contracted job had ended and he had serious health issues. He was unable to work and found himself jobless and without an income. He was so grateful that he had a temporary place to sleep and eat until he could get his life together. That’s when I decided that The Light House was “my calling” and I started to volunteer as soon as I retired in 2010.

What aspect of volunteering at The Light House brings you the most joy?
I love being at The Light House. My fellow volunteers are all committed to the mission of assisting those less fortunate, and they, like me, realize that life circumstances can change and that all of us have times when we are in need. The staff of The Light House goes above and beyond to make us all feel valued and important in order to meet their mission. I cannot say enough about the people who walk through the doors requesting assistance with housing, food, etc. They appreciate our work on their behalf and almost all express sincere thanks for what they receive.

Anything else you would like to add?
Through my life, at one time or another, I have volunteered for several worthy organizations. However, I have not seen the degree of activity and dedication that The Light House provides to our community-- from training programs with the goal to keep people from becoming homeless, to many community outreach activities, such as the daily market and pantry bag distribution, to providing the basic day-to-day needs of many residents. I am so thankful that I am able to play a small part in all this!


July 2016
Gayle Blizzard


Gayle Blizzard has been a dedicated Light House volunteer for over 15 years! She is always willing to volunteer her time at a moment’s notice, helps to lead our GED preparation classes, and is our liaison for her congregation at the Annapolis Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We are very blessed to have her as a part of our Light House family. The Light House salutes her for her hard work and dedication! Congratulations Gayle on being our July 2016 Volunteer Spotlight Winner!

How did you hear about The Light House and why did you select us to help?
While visiting one of the local churches prior to becoming a member at Annapolis Evangelical Presbyterian Church, it was announced that meals were needed at The Light House. This was back when The Light House was still on West Street. I met Marcus and some of the other volunteers and talked to residents, and was hooked on helping an organization that gives so much to those in need. The mission of The Light House touches my heart and I can't help but want to be a part of what you do.

How long have you volunteered with us?
I am honestly not sure but probably since 2000. I know that the first GED class was April 2012.

What aspect of your volunteer time brings you the most joy?
I love that I really feel a part of the organization, although I kind of come in and out as needed. The Light House does a great job of communicating needs while still maintaining confidentialities.

Anything else you would like to add?
I am very proud of my ability to help serve through The Light House. The work that you do to benefit the homeless is great and so needed. Thank you for the opportunity to serve beside such dedicated and caring individuals.


June 2016
Indian Creek School


The students of Indian Creek School, their teachers and administrators have been a welcome addition to The Light House family since 2009. Under the guidance of Nicole Easton, Indian Creek’s Educational Services Coordinator and Principal Bruce Crossman, the students have been fantastic volunteers helping with our community lunch program. They have also generously donated bagged lunches, non-perishable food items for our pantry, toiletries, and filled gift bags for our residents during the holiday season. The Light House salutes you for your hard work and dedication! Congratulations on being our June 2016 Volunteer Spotlight Winner!

How did Indian Creek select The Light House to support?
It is an integral part of the Indian Creek School philosophy that our students be active participants in helping our community. Our goal was to form a partnership that would help our students gain a greater understanding of the realities of homelessness, and where they could have a real, positive impact on homeless prevention efforts. The Light House of Annapolis stepped up to help Indian Creek accomplish this goal. Indian Creek was excited to partner with The Light House shelter because we wanted an ongoing, personal relationship with an organization, where students of many ages would be able to contribute in developmentally appropriate ways that increase in involvement as the students grow. Our Lower School students are able to contribute packed lunches and personal items, raise funds, and decorate lunch bags with good wishes for the shelter residents. The Light House Shelter welcomes Indian Creek Middle School students to actively volunteer at the shelter twice a month, and allows our children to interact directly with volunteers and residents, making and serving lunches, filling gift baskets, and organizing the pantry. The Light House has been very gracious in providing the opportunity we sought for our students to have real life experience with other volunteers, allowing them to understand firsthand the importance of giving back to the community.

Over the years, students have shared that while they may drive by The Light House every day, they never noticed it before their Middle School visits. Not only did they not see the building, but they may not have seen the opportunities volunteering could provide them. As part of our Advisory curriculum, we want to introduce our students to the many rewards of service. Volunteering, giving back, is an amazing opportunity. Our hope is that through this experience, our students to develop a meaningful, lasting appreciation for service. We want to teach our students how rewarding it can be to give back -that just a couple hours a month, a few sandwiches, a few kind words, and a smile can change a life.

When forming this partnership, our hope was that our school community would commit to and grow with The Light House community and take on other projects. This has certainly been the case. Our Lower School participated in the “change for The Light House” collection; we support the B.E.S.T. program, using the catering services often, and our students have even conducted a variety of neighborhood collections independently of the school.

How long has Indian Creek volunteered with us?
Indian Creek has been volunteering at The Light House since 2009.

What do the students and teachers enjoy most about their volunteer time here?

“One of the hallmarks of an Indian Creek School education can be summed up by the operative mottos: Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

Never are these themes so prevalent in the real lives of our children as when our advisory groups spend the day helping at The Light House of Annapolis. Students return to school after a day of helping their fellow humans with bright minds full of future wishes and anxious to share minds full of thoughtful memories and ideas. The two most common themes expressed around a communal lunch back at school are "care" and "kindness". Students are always willing to share the "truth" of their experience from the shelter, the power of their care and caring,combined with the welcome respect with which it was given and received. Kindness is the most commonly shared experience from The Light House. The overwhelmingly heartwarming feeling students express when they visit The Light House shelter is the power of kindness - staff interactions with residents, needful guests response to students, students abilities to embrace the philosophy and reflect that same kindness to others - is an experience of ideas into actions which makes priceless impressions on the lives of teenagers. The "necessity" of The Light House mission, the necessity of community support, the necessity of the equality of the human condition presented during ICS student's visits to the shelter have in fact helped create an awareness of the new necessities of the modern world in our next generation.”
- Brad Woodward, Middle School Humanities Teacher

“What I find special about The Light House shelter experience is that from that very first moment you walk through the doors you feel like you are part of the community. Everyone welcomes you and makes you feel comfortable. Another of my favorite things about The Light House is serving lunches, realizing I now have the ability to make someone feel as welcome as I feel, I adore being a part of the community.”
- Kendyl Underwood, ICS Class of 2020

“The Light House gives students an opportunity to work with residents and visitors to the program. Students develop empathy as they see firsthand how their efforts impact those in need. Many students remember the smiles of those they’ve helped. Teachers appreciate the opportunity to see their students to a new way.”
-Aaron Kleffman, Middle School Humanities teacher

Anything else you would like to share?
We look forward to continuing our partnership with The Light House of Annapolis for a long time. Working together to help today’s youth experience the benefits of service, and working towards the common goal of homeless prevention, compassion, and humanity.