We are thrilled to highlight one of our exceptional volunteers for Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27, 2024. She is one of many volunteers we would love to thank for their continued selfless dedication to supporting women and families who have experienced domestic violence.  

Takira Walker a beacon of unwavering dedication and philanthropy, embodies the true spirit of selflessness and community service. Her tireless efforts have not only made her an invaluable asset to MSP but also a shining example of volunteerism in its purest form.  

Takira has amassed over 60 volunteer hours at My Sister’s Place. Our volunteer manager, Angela Cavanaugh, has had the fortune of working directly with Takira for many of those hours. She notes, “Takira Walker is a dynamic force of action, consistently taking the initiative to organize, schedule, and develop different activities aimed at creating a positive impact here at MSP… Noteworthy examples of Takira’s leadership include her role in connecting our organization with one of her Howard affiliate organizations, Revolt, Inc. From that connection, we gained over 100 donation bags of hygiene projects for our shelter.” 

As we express our deep gratitude and appreciation for her contributions, we also want to acknowledge the profound difference that each of our volunteers, including Takira, makes when guided by a spirit of generosity and kindness. We are truly fortunate to have her and all our volunteers as part of our MSP family.  

Below is an interview with Takira Walker, in which we learn about her personal inspirations, her motivations behind dedicating so much of her time to MSP, and her aspirations for the future.  

What inspired you to dedicate your time to volunteering and helping others?  My paternal grandmother, Betty Williams, has been the cornerstone of inspiration for my dedication to volunteering and helping others. Her lifelong commitment to service, whether it was waking up at 6 AM every Wednesday to distribute food to the houseless and hungry or buying gifts for children through the Angel Tree program, showed me the profound impact of selflessness on communities in need. 

In what ways has volunteering impacted your personal growth and development?  Volunteering has significantly shaped my perspective and outlook on life. Witnessing the tangible impact of service has reinforced my belief in the power of kindness and empathy. It has broadened my understanding of societal issues and instilled a sense of responsibility to contribute positively to my community.  

How did you first learn about MSP, and what motivated you to choose us as the organization to volunteer with?  I first learned about MSP during a self-defense event at Howard University in 2022, where I heard the founder’s poignant testimony about domestic violence. Understanding the pressing need for support in combating domestic violence in inner cities, particularly in DC, resonated deeply with me. The mission and programs of MSP aligned perfectly with my desire to make a meaningful difference, motivating me to volunteer with the organization.  

Do you have a memorable experience or story from your volunteer work at MSP that has had a significant impact on you?  One particularly memorable experience during my volunteer work with MSP was spending time reading books to children and assisting them with their homework at the shelter. One afternoon, I sat down with a group of children, ranging in age from 5 to 10, to read a story. As I began to read, their eyes lit up with excitement, and they eagerly listened to every word. It was heartwarming to see how engrossed they became in the story, laughing at the funny parts and asking insightful questions about the plot. After we finished reading, I helped them with their homework assignments. Some struggled with math problems, while others needed assistance with spelling and reading comprehension. Despite the challenges they faced, they approached their assignments with determination and a willingness to learn. It was incredibly rewarding to see their confidence grow as they mastered new concepts and completed their homework with pride. This experience reaffirmed the importance of providing educational support and nurturing environments for children, especially those experiencing homelessness or domestic violence. It reminded me of the profound impact that simple acts of kindness, such as reading a book or helping with homework, can have on a child’s life. It also reinforced my commitment to volunteering with MSP and supporting their mission to empower and uplift individuals and families in need.  

If you were to encourage others to volunteer, what would you say to them? I would encourage others to volunteer by emphasizing the transformative power of service. Volunteering not only positively impacts communities but also fosters personal growth, empathy, and a deeper understanding of societal issues. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, contributes to creating a brighter and more compassionate world.  

Have your volunteer experiences influenced your career aspirations or philanthropic goals for the future?  Absolutely. My volunteer experiences, particularly with MSP, have solidified my passion for advocating for vulnerable populations and promoting social justice. They have influenced my career aspirations, guiding me towards fields where I can continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. 

How has the intersection of women and health in today’s society influenced your career and philanthropic aspirations? The intersection of women and health in today’s society has highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive support systems for women, particularly those affected by domestic violence. It has fueled my commitment to advocating for women’s health rights and ensuring equitable access to healthcare and support services.  

As someone who dreams of becoming an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OBGYN), my journey is deeply personal. My interest was sparked by stories of struggling mothers in underdeveloped countries that I heard in school. These narratives resonated with me, but it was learning about the personal experiences of women in my own family that truly solidified my path. Growing up as a Black woman, I saw firsthand the struggles many women face in getting the healthcare they need. It lit a fire in me to fight for change. I want to be there for women, especially those in underserved communities, providing them with care and support that respects their culture and background. I believe in breaking down the barriers that hold Black women back from accessing quality healthcare. My dream is to see more Black women represented in healthcare leadership, making decisions that shape our future. I want to be part of that change, making sure every woman gets the care and respect she deserves. My desire is fueled to make a difference —to be a source of support and care for women, especially those who are marginalized and underserved. 

What does Women’s Health look like to you?  Women’s health encompasses not only physical well-being but also mental, emotional, and social aspects. It involves empowering women to make informed choices about their bodies, providing access to quality healthcare, promoting reproductive rights, and addressing systemic inequalities that impact women’s health outcomes.  

Is there anything else you’d like to share? I am grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with MSP and contribute to their vital mission of supporting survivors of domestic violence. I am committed to continuing my advocacy work and fostering positive change in my community. 

New volunteer opportunities will be available this upcoming fall. Please visit our volunteer page to sign up for updates: Volunteer – My Sister’s Place (mysistersplacedc.org)