Ann Ripp

Ann Ripp was helping out at HavenHouse one Saturday, when a family came up to her and presented a $100 bill. “They said, We know this other family is having a financial situation, and we’d like to pay for their stay the next few nights,” Ripp says. “The families who stay here are a support system for each other.”

    Ripp has had the opportunity to witness those relationships and partake in the supportive environment during her three-and-a-half years as a volunteer for the hospitality house. She got involved after her son, Kyle, did a high school service project there, and she has taken on a variety of responsibilities, from receptionist to chauffeur. “I have a lot of compassion for people in that type of situation, so I want to do anything I can to help—a jack-of-all-trades type of thing.”

    Ripp also has mobilized her employer and church: She brought a group from Monsanto to prepare meals for the guests when the cook was on vacation, and worked on a supply drive with the eighth grade students at St. Monica’s. “I’m just trying to use the relationships I have with people to help them understand more about what we’re doing here,” she explains. “The kids at St. Monica’s go by HavenHouse every day and don’t realize the purpose it serves. It’s in their backyards, and it’s important to know that everyone in West County doesn’t live the way we live.”

    Volunteering every Saturday, Ripp enjoys connecting with the families she helps—sharing in their joys, while lending an ear to those who are struggling. “These people are in a situation where they need the help, and I would hope that if my family member was ill and out of town, there would be a place like HavenHouse for us.”