Some people just have “it” – that intangible quality that makes someone’s personality shine from the inside. Raven Quartey and her volunteer group “Live Full Die Empty” all have that “it factor.” Instead of using their light to cast shadows, they invite numerous worthy causes to stand in the sun with them. TEEM was the latest nonprofit to shine through interacting with Raven’s volunteer group.
After the group helped TEEM with archiving over 30 years of records, Raven took time to examine the importance of giving back and why more community members should welcome the opportunity to help those in need.
Tell me about your group Live Full Die Empty. How did it get started?
Live Full Die Empty is the result of a sermon illustration shared one Sunday morning last July at People’s Church. The thought of pouring oneself out for the benefit of Christ and others weighed heavily on my mind. After sharing my thoughts with Daniel the next night, we decided that starting a community service group was a way we could live out our purpose. The second Saturday of every month we do some sort of service activity or project. Our heart for the group is service, in whatever form that may be...whether it’s volunteering with a nonprofit in the OKC metro area or serving individuals/families who are in need. We officially launched in September and our experiences have been amazing. Our mission is to pour out our lives in service to the community and impact individuals through God’s love.
Why do you think that it’s important to give back?
It’s important to give back because it takes the focus off of you. We live in a world that tends to be “ME-centered” but there are so many people that need help or need to be shown love and grace. Live Full Die Empty exists to extend those things to individuals all over the metro area. Our lives are not about us at all, but instead what God can do through us. Giving back is not a nuisance but a necessity.
You guys make giving back fun! What’s your secret?
Giving back should be fun! When a group of individuals with a heart to serve come together for a common purpose it makes it easy to have fun. Another aspect of Live Full Die Empty is that we take time to connect with each other as a group after every project. We just don’t serve and go home. We like to hang out as well and generally go to coffee shops or restaurants afterwards.
Why did you decide to volunteer at TEEM?
We came across TEEM through the LOVE OKC website. We had not heard about you guys but after looking at the website we became interested in the mission of the organization and desired to do anything that would help TEEM continue to reach more people.
What did you learn from your experience?
TEEM increased our knowledge and awareness of the issues individuals leaving incarceration face. Individuals are only given $50 and a bus pass when they leave prison and are expected to thrive. The staff, mentors, and volunteers at TEEM give men and women the opportunity to chase after their dreams by providing them with resources to further their education and secure jobs so they have firm ground to stand on when they are released. After spending time at TEEM, we realized just how important this organization is.