The OCP Blog

Featured Volunteer of the Month: Dawn Brumfield

“Those who follow Tao know hunger and scarcity. When times are difficult, they know how to survive.”  -Deng Ming-Dao.

Before diving into what led our featured volunteer to Our Community Place, hear something about who we all call #OCPeoples: Every community member at Our Community Place has gone through an adverse traumatic experience. They seek an environment where they can integrate body, mind, and spirit through expressive, arts-based engagement, and other activities that revive a sense of hope and encourage self-sufficiency.

Ms. Brumfield came from Middlesex County, New Jersey, and stumbled upon Our Community Place three years and three months ago.  After her mother’s death, “I felt like I lost my best friend, the only one whom I could talk to about anything,” she said. But, this was not the breaking point! Her breaking point came when she lost custody of her two daughters. That is when Ms. Dawn Brumfield found herself in a hopeless emotional state of being.

Like everything else in Tao, happiness comes from within. What minimal support we need from the outside – a bit of food, shelter—can actually be simple and is readily available, Deng Ming-Dao says. In relation to our featured volunteer and her partner, Bill, the cost of living in the Motel 6 without employment led them to homelessness. “I’ve never been homeless before. I always went camping at my grandparents’ cabins, but the fact that I didn’t have anywhere to call home was a new low,” she said. “Living in a tent is NO picnic,” she added. “The first time that we walked into Our Community Place, we were hungry and Ms. Mama Sadie fed us soup since we got there after lunch service,” Ms. Brumfield said. The love and compassion that they experienced was something they haven’t experienced in a while. It was a breath of fresh air.

Ms. Brumfield enjoys coloring. “It allows me to tap into my creative side of my brain instead of being stuck thinking about the type of life I use to have,” she said. The energy she brings to our Friday Lunch Restaurant is uplifting and sometimes overflowing. And that is okay here at OCP.

Leons Kabongo

Activities & Programming Coordinator