We have some of the best volunteers on earth! Meet a few of the awesome people that make Elevate Branson a success. These wonderful folks and many more like them keep this organization going, growing, serving and elevating our neighbors and our community.


Meet Cyndi DeWitt. Cyndi is a retired biblical counselor from a Christian recovery program in Memphis Tennessee. She counseled women who experienced addiction, abuse, imprisonment, and prostitution. One of her many responsibilities was to help get women job-ready to attempt to gain meaningful employment. After retiring, Cyndi still wanted to pour into women facing the same challenges. She found out about our Elevate Work program and has been an outstanding mentor for 5 classes. Not only has she poured into her students, she has been a fantastic organizer and communicator. She is currently the Mentor Coordinator, helping ensure communication with all of the mentors. We are so thankful for the many talents and experience that Cyndi brings to our campus. We are looking forward to seeing the transformational love that she shares with her students and our staff. In reflecting on life circumstances, Cyndi commented, “Elevate Branson is just where the Lord wants me to serve at this time in my life.” Thank you, Cyndi!


Frank has been faithfully handing out meals with us on our Thursday night Elevate Outreach program for almost a whole year! In conversation about what volunteering means to him, Frank expressed his love for “extending hospitality to those who don’t normally get it.” He also shared that volunteering not only “makes an impact on the people I serve, it totally makes an impact on me.” After describing one of his favorite scenarios to see while serving- families with children immediately sitting down to eat their sack lunch- he reflected, “how can you see that and not be moved by it and recognize that it does make an impact? It’s fun, and it’s rewarding.” Thank you, Frank, for loving our neighbors and for the joy you bring in serving!


Nancy shows up each Thursday morning with a bright smile on her face and a determination to pack each meal with love for our neighbors in our community. Nancy is easy and fun to talk with, and everyone who interacts with her feels lighter after each exchange. We’re thankful Nancy found us and chooses to invest her Thursday mornings into supporting our community. Be sure to give Nancy a high-five and share how much we appreciate her next time you see her on campus!


Christina is a faithful volunteer in the Elevate Thrift Store, and we’re so thankful for her support! She can often be found in the intake section of our Thrift Store helping our staff manage and organize donation items. Christina is an invaluable member of our Thrift Store volunteer team, and we love having her around. Be sure to give Christina a big hug or a solid high-five next time you see her, and thank her for being a rock star volunteer!


Paul is a consistent Thursday morning AND Thursday evening volunteer, who even sacrifices part of his Wednesday afternoon to ensure everything is set up and ready to go for both Thursday outreach programs. Paul loves our neighbors and loves to serve (second to his love for golf) and we’re thankful for his consistency and compassion for our community. Be sure to give Paul a high-five next time you see him!


Kim is a loyal Thursday Morning Meal Make who always brings the energy! Her contagious smile lights up the room each week, and we count on her to read our weekly verse during circle up each Thursday morning. Kim is often accompanied by members of her family (shout out to runner up Volunteer of the Month, Kim’s husband, Paul) who always comes ready to serve just as passionately as she does. Give Kim a high-five or a hug this month and let her know how much we appreciate her dedication to our Thursday Morning Meal Making crew.


Buddy Burns is a devoted mentor for our Elevate Work students and is faithful to show up for his mentees with love, compassion and support. Buddy has been volunteering as a mentor in several classes, and each of his students has testified of his unwavering commitment to seeing them succeed both in the class and beyond. We’re thankful for Buddy and his dedication to the Elevate Work program and the time and energy he devotes towards seeing our neighbors accomplish their action plan, find their passion, and discover their identity.


Karen not only serves as a Thursday Morning Meal Maker, she also spends her Tuesdays and Thursdays volunteering with Elevate Kids! Karen has several years of experience in education, and is an incredible asset to both our Elevate Kids and Thursday Morning Meal Making teams. We’re thankful for Karen and her love for our kiddos in our after-school program, as well as for our neighbors in our community.


Toby is a faithful Thursday Evening Meal Delivery volunteer, and is often found showing up early on Thursday nights to help set up, prepare vans, and lead the evening of Outreach for other fellow volunteers. Toby also serves as a van driver, and leads a meal delivery route almost every week. Toby leads with intention and love for others, and we’re thankful for him and his dedication and passion for serving our community. 


“I started volunteering after a friend invited me one Thursday. It didn’t take long to realize all that Elevate was doing to impact the community. Volunteering at Elevate consistently has really helped me realize how much of a passion I have for helping people in our community. Being able to go out and help on Thursday nights has been a major blessing.” 


We’re thankful for Ethan, his consistency during Thursday Night Meal Delivery, and his passion for connecting with and serving our neighbors!


Jodi is a faithful and consistent volunteer who serves our Elevate Kids during our afterschool program. We’re thankful for all the ways Jodi loves our area kiddos through her commitment to serving our neighbors and their families. Jodi mentions, “I enjoy building relationships with the kids and getting to work with Elevate Branson. It has humbled me to see some of the struggles our neighbors deal with, and it helps me to understand their situation to be more patient, understanding, and empathetic.” We’re thankful for Jodi, and all of our Elevate Kids volunteers!


Suzie and her daughter, Anna, actively serve with Elevate Kids, ensuring our area children receive nutritional, educational and social resources regularly. Suzie and Anna have both volunteered with Elevate Kids for our summer and after school programs. Suzie serves as an early childhood educator, and Anna shares the same love for investing in children as her mom. When asked how volunteering has impacted them personally, Suzie mentioned, “Volunteering at Elevate Branson for the past five years has softened my heart towards our neighbors. Every person we encounter has a story that can give us insight into their struggles and triumphs if we take the time to listen and build relationships with them. I am reminded daily that we are all God’s people and a little kindness goes a long way.” Anna replied similarly, saying, “Over the years that I’ve volunteered at Elevate, I’ve noticed tremendous self-growth in myself. I’ve become a much kinder person due to a newfound understanding. I’ve learned to never judge someone, especially not for what their life seems to be on the surface.”


We are so thankful for Suzie and Anna’s compassion for our neighbors and their children, and love serving our community with them!


If you know Sarah, you love her. And if you don’t know her, you wish you did. Sarah has been an Elevate Outreach volunteer for well over a year and a half, showing up nearly every single Thursday night to love our neighbors through connection, kindness and a simple meal. 

Sarah reflects on a special relationship she developed with one of our neighbors, mentioning, “Our neighbor, Karen, who used to live at the American Eagle was one of the first neighbors I met, and we made a connection right away. She always had high energy and was ready to share a story about her grandson. She even tagged along with us one night to help finish delivering meals. I was always excited to see Karen on Thursday nights. She no longer lives at the American Eagle, but I hope she is living near her grandson and bringing her joy and energy everywhere she goes. Making connections with our neighbors – remembering their names, sharing a simple meal with them, and greeting them with a smile can change their whole day. That’s what keeps me coming back to Elevate to serve each week.” 

We love having Sarah with us as a part of our incredible group of Outreach volunteers!


Jeff and D’Ann faithfully serve our neighbors each Thursday through Elevate Outreach, and Jeff can often be found behind the wheel – driving hundreds of our Elevate Outreach sack meals and a handful of our volunteers to various extended stay motels in our community. Jeff and D’Ann mention their favorite part of volunteering is getting to see the kids, and the excitement on their faces after receiving a simple meal. “Volunteering helps us to look past our own issues and the stress of current life circumstances and focus on the needs of others,” Jeff and D’Ann mention, “It helps us count our many blessings and unite with others around the love and grace of our God.”

Thanks for your commitment to love our neighbors, Jeff and D’Ann!

We are thankful for Whitney’s commitment to her Elevate Work student as a mentor! Mentors play a crucial role in helping our students achieve their accomplishments and reach milestones throughout the Elevate Work course and beyond. It’s with the help of volunteers like Whitney that we see our neighbors reach new heights each and every day.


Barbara has been a dedicated Thursday Morning Meal Maker for nearly 5 years (that equals out to making 147,980 sandwiches!) Here’s what Barbara had to say about her experience volunteering on Thursday mornings:


“I think more and more about the people that receive our meals and I thank God that I can be a part of it. What keeps me coming back is just everything! The other volunteers, the recipients of the meals, the joy of serving, the news of great things happening at Elevate Branson. I love it all and hate ever missing a week. I can’t think of anything that isn’t my favorite part of volunteering, but I really love the end result – when the meals are delivered and love
is shared with all that receive them.” 


We’re thankful for Barbara’s dedication to Thursday Mornings and our Meal Making crew!


“My favorite part about volunteering is getting to know each and every person’s story. A lot of times you only see a person for their outward appearances – for what they’re doing, or not doing. But when you actually get to take the time to sit down and hear their story, hear where they come from and what they’ve walked through, it gives you the insight and compassion to walk this journey along with them.”


We are thankful for Whitney’s commitment to her Elevate Work student as a mentor! Mentors play a crucial role in helping our students achieve their accomplishments and reach milestones throughout the Elevate Work course and beyond. It’s with the help of volunteers like Whitney that we see our neighbors reach new heights each and every day.


“Returning from missionary service in Uruguay in March 2020, there were few opportunities to serve. I checked around I came across Elevate Branson. I stopped and was told that Thursday sack meals were going to be delivered that evening and they would really like me to join them. I returned and enjoyed feeling the warmth of serving. I was given a card to call Amy Stallings and upon a very animated conversation, I returned to make sandwiches on the following Thursday morning. It was announced that help was needed in the Thrift Store, so I signed up there too. I have been impressed by the Christian values in which Elevate Branson integrates into their programs to “elevate” families and individuals in the community. It is a joy, it’s fun, and it feels uplifting to be part of all those good people in the Branson area who volunteer their time at Elevate Branson.”

We’re thankful for people like Josie who commit wholeheartedly to serving our community!


Elevate Work Instructor
Doug has committed countless hours to the Elevate Work program, dedicating his time and energy to loving our neighbors. As a mentor, business panel participant, and course instructor, Doug spurs Elevate Work students on to help them find purpose and overcome roadblocks that keep them from reaching their full potential in the workforce. “I have continued to teach because I’ve seen the need for students to understand their self worth and the dignity that working brings,” says Doug. “Most students haven’t been blessed with someone to help them navigate life and the deliberate steps they need to take to be contributing members of our community. Through encouragement and love, Elevate Work gives students the opportunity to completely transform themselves and their family’s lives.” We couldn’t agree more, especially when people like Doug take part!


Elevate Work And Computer Course Instructor!
Since November 2020, Jerry has tirelessly dedicated his time to investing in the future workforce through Elevate Work. His commitment to our Elevate Work and computer course students is unmatched! We’re so thankful for Jerry’s loyalty to our program, and for his calling to teach and invest in those looking to discover and pursue their purpose. We couldn’t do it without you, Jerry!


Finding Family and Fellowship Through Serving Others

Wayne and Nikki drive from Springfield every Thursday night for Elevate Outreach. For almost three years they have been part of the team connecting with the working poor of the Branson community. In their words, “We volunteer for the relationships. Other volunteers become like family, plus there’s the relationships with the neighbors we serve. The smiles we get at every door brighten our week.” Call Amy Stallings at 417.335.0266 to join the Outreach team this week. Helping hands and caring hearts are always needed and greatly appreciated.


We Think You’ll Agree, Linda Rocks!

Linda McFadden has been volunteering for more than ten years in thrift stores.  When asked about volunteering at Elevate Branson, Linda said, “God calls all to serve with the gifts he has given us.  Elevate Branson is a caring and enjoyable place for me to serve and be creative.”  She continues to act on God’s calling by using her skills in a selfless manner to help others.   Her gift of creativity shows in her painted pieces including rocks, jars, etc. that she donates to the Elevate Thrift Store.  The proceeds of her creative pieces support our Up with Kids! program.  We thank Linda for her time and sharing her calling and gifts with us to benefit the children in our community!


High Schooler Helps Job Candidates Prep For Success

Micayla is a Spokane High School senior and part of the GO-CAPS program.  As her capstone project, Micayla chose to work with Elevate Branson to provide resources to those preparing for job interviews. So she reached out to area churches for the use of showers and lodging facilities for towels, shampoo & conditioner. Thank you Micayla and a shout out to all the great young folks making a difference in their communities.


Stitching Together Many Ways To Serve God and His Community

AJ is a wonderful and appreciated member of the Branson community who lives a life of Christ-like service and love for others. He regularly helps Elevate Outreach with meal prep and delivery. One Thursday night, while serving, AJ heard about Elevate Thrift Store and he immediately exclaimed, “I’m gonna bring in my hats and scarves!” It seems one of his many hobbies is knitting, with all his knitted items given as gifts to friends and family or donated to charities like Elevate Branson.