December 7, 2023

We’re profiling Shepherd volunteers who are making a lasting difference in neighbors’ lives in a variety of ways.  We asked Jessey and Jordan Swails about why they volunteer with Shepherd. 

Inspired to serve? Go to, to learn about how you can assist neighbors in need.

Q. What volunteer role do you serve in at Shepherd?

Jessey and Jordan: We have served in a variety of ways at Shepherd, but most regularly in the center’s Saturday food pantry.

 Q.  How did you get involved with Shepherd as a volunteer?

Jessey and Jordan: We originally were connected to Shepherd through a local mission trip at our church, Redeemer Bible Church. We spent the weekend connecting with kids in the Shepherd Academy, cleaning up the neighborhood, serving neighbors at both the food pantry and a breakfast on Sunday morning, as well as at the church service. During our time there, we learned so much about Shepherd, the resources they offer neighbors, and the help they need to continue serving the 46201 and 46202 districts.

Q. What stands out to you from your experience as a volunteer at Shepherd?

Jessey and Jordan: Throughout that weekend, and our interactions since, we have been so moved by Donna (Alexander, Shepherd’s volunteer director) as well as other staff members, and their passion to live out their roles. The jobs they do day in and day out aren’t simply a way to earn income, it’s a way of life for each of them. And to think that just 30 minutes away, people struggle to find access to the necessities of life, while we sit upon abundance without a second thought, really moved us to connect and be involved with Shepherd in as many ongoing, future-oriented ways as possible.

Q. What have you learned while serving as a volunteer at Shepherd?

Jessey and Jordan: Through our time serving alongside the Shepherd team, we’ve learned that personal, genuine, and kind connection goes so far, for both the volunteer serving and the neighbor being served. Shepherd’s saying of “a hand up” is so fitting for all the volunteer opportunities they have available… any intentional time spent connecting a neighbor to a much-needed resource, happily offering assistance to the cleaning of their neighborhoods, or being a listening ear and a source of intercessory prayer is a way to show neighbors that they are seen and loved.

Q. What advice and encouragement can you offer to someone who is considering serving as a volunteer at Shepherd?

Jessey and Jordan: If you’re considering serving at Shepherd, our advice would be to step in fully and don’t look back. Your life WILL be changed for the better upon hearing the why behind Shepherd’s mission, linking arms with the beautiful people who do the heavy lifting each and every day, and coming alongside our near Eastside Indianapolis neighbors as people, not as projects. Yourself, your co-workers, your small groups, and your family… band together, step into the heart of the mission, and be blessed.

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