When Spencer first learned about Repair the World, he was new to Detroit and was looking for opportunities to live out his Jewish values through volunteering. Repair the World’s mission of pursuing a just world resonated deeply with him and he began to volunteer and stay connected with the work happening in Detroit. “It’s important to me that Jews living in Detroit understand the history of the Jewish community here and where the gaps in resources across communities are present. I believe there is a responsibility for Jews to invest time and funds and to use their passions to serve and uplift others,” said Spencer.
Through Repair the World, Spencer began volunteering with Keep Growing Detroit, an urban gardening and farming organization whose mission is to promote a food sovereign city where the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by Detroiters are grown by residents of the city. “What volunteers contribute to the urban farm is so vital in ensuring that the food systems in Detroit continue to thrive. It means a lot to me to be part of that ecosystem.”
For Spencer, volunteering was a way for him to make a difference in Detroit and he wanted to deepen his service experience and make a more significant impact. One year after he began volunteering with Repair the World Detroit, Spencer became a member of Repair the World Detroit’s Advisory Council. “The work that Repair is doing is so meaningful and impactful. Differences are being made every day. My role as an advisory council member is to serve as both a thought partner and to help make connections between volunteers and the nonprofit organizations that Repair the World partners with here in Detroit. It means so much to me to be able to do that.”
Through Repair the World Spencer also volunteers as a mentor to young children at Brilliant Detroit, which focuses on child development and literacy and ensuring the success of Detroit’s youngest members while supporting their families.
“The connection I’ve made with Brilliant Detroit would not have been possible without Repair the World. I have been able to connect direct service with education and have learned about the underlying structural issues that are exasperating the needs of families all over Detroit.”
Volunteering with Repair the World Detroit over the last few years shifted the role service plays in Spencer’s life. “Volunteering plays an even bigger role in my Judaism now and that is because of my connection to Repair the World. Service is integral to our communities being fulfilled and the lives of individuals being fulfilled. There is a sense of belonging and a recognition that I am part of something bigger than myself.”