Volunteer Spotlight – Mayank Shyam

Mayank’s Motto

The Sai Baba group of St. Louis has a long history volunteering at the Soulard Shelter. Since 1985, members of the multi-cultural group have provided our shelter guests with nutritious meals and warm company. Mayank Shyam first volunteered with the Sai Baba group after moving to St. Louis in 2016, and for the past three years has been their service coordinator. We were able to catch up with Mayank recently and chat about his experiences volunteering at PPCS with the Sai Baba group.

Mayank with blankets donated to the Soulard Shelter by members of the Sai Baba group of St. Louis.

Mayank stands in front of an open car trunk filled with blankets.

Why do you volunteer?

“Our motto is to serve people selflessly without expecting anything in return. It makes you a better person and makes our society better. It is a very rewarding experience. By serving at the Soulard Shelter, we have really helped ourselves.”

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

“I find everyone is friendly. It’s easy to interact with the staff and the residents. We enjoy serving meals and helping cheer up the residents. It’s like serving family. We do this with a lot of love and passion, and it’s very rewarding.”

What was an unexpected way you have helped as a volunteer?

“When you had an urgent need for meals for the Garfield [emergency pop-up] shelter, I was able to order pizza right away. But then I also contacted other people in my group, and we easily came together to quickly sign up to cook meals. We were able to unite and work together very quickly.”

Why do you support PPCS?

“We have a long-term relationship with Peter and Paul. We know whatever we do is going to the right hands. We know when we give something to you what’s happening behind the scenes to help people.

Any of us could be in this situation, who knows what will happen to any of us tomorrow. Your clients are in need, and any one of us could be too. They’re not so different from any of us, we all need help in one way or another.”

What’s something you wish people knew about volunteering?

“When you serve people, you’re helping yourself and people around you. It’s something that helps everybody.”

We are so grateful for Mayank and all the volunteers from the Sai Baba group of St. Louis who have helped our clients during their many years of service. Without the many volunteers like Mayank, we would not be here today to support our clients.

Want to get involved?

We have opportunities for individuals or groups to provide breakfast, lunch, or dinner at our Soulard Shelter.

Get in touch with our Development Manager Kindle Barber at kbarber@ppcsinc.org to learn more or schedule a meal.