Aug. 12, 2022
By Sam Buisman – Covenant House Alaska Staff Writer
Most people are excellent at a few things or can do well at a lot of things. However, Grace Blouin is not like most people, with seemingly no limit to her excellence.
For years upon years, Grace has served at Covenant House Alaska with an unmatched enthusiasm for serving her community and a get-it-done attitude that has made her a phenom across a myriad of volunteer positions. Her grit is fueled by a calling to uplift her community and hometown of Anchorage, Alaska.
Grace described her volunteer career as how she pursues this noble avidity.
“That’s just how I view volunteering — that’s how we make things better, everybody coming together and giving it the old college try,” said Grace.
We could not be more thankful for Grace and all she has given to Covenant House Alaska and our youth.
Grace was born and raised in Anchorage, and according to her, she has no plans to leave anytime soon.
“Every time winter rolls around, I say ‘This is my last winter here!’” said Grace. “But, I’ve said that for ten years, and I’m still here!”
However, Grace felt like she couldn’t ignore the problems she saw in town during a lifetime of living in the city, including its notable unhoused population. After coming of age, she began to ask friends and surf the internet for ways to volunteer around Anchorage.
It was Grace’s roommate who recommended volunteering at Covenant House Alaska to her. After a little bit of research, Grace said what moved her to volunteer was the organization’s focus on the city’s youth.
“I wanted to be involved with an organization that works with young people,” said Grace, “because catching those things early is how you can prevent it from getting worse, and Anchorage is pretty rough out there.”
So, in the spring of 2019, Grace took her time and talents to Covenant House Alaska, starting what would grow into a near half-decade of service.
Jack of All Trades
Grace is a Swiss Army knife of a volunteer. She applies her diverse skill set to a wide variety of roles at Covenant House Alaska with unmatched efficiency and hustle.
After getting her bearings through organizing donated clothes for our youth, Grace has since helped prepare meals in our kitchen, participated in our Bookhunters program to get books for our youth, and volunteered to complete a litany of odd jobs around Covey.
“I’m happy to be helpful over there in any way that I can,” said Grace.
While she spoke fondly of all these positions, Grace singled out her time with our culinary staff as a particular source of joy.
“I like it because it’s fun working with food,” said Grace, “and the people in the kitchen are so fun to work with. They’re funny, and they’re helpful and supportive.”
She is also a fixture of our special events at Covenant House Alaska, routinely joining our volunteer teams for our fundraisers, donation drives and the holiday season. We’ve seen Grace wrapping holiday presents for our youth in the dead of winter and packing donated salmon into our freezers in the dog days of summer.
Leading by Example
For Grace, her willingness to take on so many different challenges at Covenant House Alaska reflects her can-do attitude and a passion for her community that drives her to serve.
“I am a very strong believer in community and people needing to make a community better,” said Grace. “That takes sacrifice on everyone’s part, whether it’s free time, or money or resources.”
Now, after years of service, Grace can reflect on how she’s seen Covenant House Alaska — and through which her service — lift up her hometown.
“It’s been cool to see it grow and the impact that it’s having on the community,” said Grace. “Long story short, it’s nice to be a small part of that, doing the little things on the side to help people.”
While that quote demonstrates Grace’s humility, we won’t miss an opportunity to brag about her: She is a powerhouse at Covenant House Alaska, and her endurable hard work has made an incredible difference in our work and the lives of an untold number of young Alaskans.
Our doors are always open to new volunteers looking to join us at Covenant House Alaska. No matter your talents or availability, there is always a way to contribute to our mission of ending the experience of youth homelessness.
Grace channeled her inner Nike sloganeer when asked about deciding to volunteer at Covenant House Alaska.
“What’s that corny quote, ‘the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now?’” said Grace. “Just do it!” If you would like more information about volunteering at Covenant House Alaska, visit the Volunteer page on our website here.