Mrs. Twinkle Gosselink

As Interviewed By Sophie Gershon, March 14, 2019

Mrs. Twinkle Gosselink: In Her Own Words

How has being a volunteer influenced my life? Well, it really makes me feel good. I’ll just tell you that. I get a lot out of it, it makes me feel good. I like to be productive and I was raised in a family where contributing was important, and my parents were always involved in the things in our school, and in our community. So I think I was just sort of raised in a family where trying to help was considered to be a good idea, and it’s fun. It’s really fun!

The Austin Shelter for Women and Children is over in East Austin and is really just an absolutely fabulous operation. And we're about to do some really cool things. We just finished a 19 million dollar fundraising project about three years ago and we made some improvements to the shelter downtown and we've added quite a bit to the Women and Children’s Shelter. The shelter usually has a waitlist of about 200. You say, how can you have a waitlist if you’re homeless? Well, homeless people are very clever and they may be with their families sleeping in their car, they may be going from friend to friend to relative while they wait for an opening in this facility. It gets women and their kids back on their feet. They have a really good licensed daycare and that's a big issue for women because you can't go to work if nobody takes care of your kids. And they have things like English as a second language or how to get your GED or how to write a resume or how to hook you into various employment agencies. We do a lot of partnering with other agencies and Goodwill is one that provides a lot of employment opportunities, as well as others. When these women graduate, then they have to find apartments and they have to have saved up enough money for a deposit, they have to have enough money to get their utilities turned on. So, while they're in the Austin Women and Children's shelter, they're picking up all of these skills. How do we manage our finances? How much money am I going to need to put down as a deposit on an apartment? How am I going to find a job that's going to pay me enough for a two or three bedroom apartment. In Austin that's a horrible problem, because there just aren’t many around. The cost of living has gotten so, so expensive.