THE POVERELLO POWER COUPLE: JOHNNY AND DAVID
Johnny Wolfe and David Milu are the dynamic duo of the Poverello family! You have probably seen Johnny in action at the Live Well Center, or David in the main building helping clients as an Intake Coordinator. Their caring demeanors and energetic personalities are sure to brighten your day.
Giving back is an important part of life for Johnny and David. For them, volunteering at Poverello is a labor of love. Even though they are both employed at Poverello, they donate a lot of their free time to help with the mission of the center.
Johnny Wolfe was born in Flint, Michigan. He grew up in Burton, a small town outside of Flint with his grandparents. Johnny’s a been a hard worker since he was 15. His first job was working at lawn service company where he was a lead generator making cold calls.
After he graduated from high school, Johnny joined the workforce. While working for Old Country Buffet, his career brought him to the Windy City, where he opened several new restaurants in the Chicago area.
After spending some time in Chicago, Johnny’s path led him to explore living in new places including San Francisco, Orlando, Atlanta, Daytona Beach, Talladega, Little Rock, and most recently, Fort Lauderdale. Johnny’s lived in Fort Lauderdale for 11 years.
In 2017, Johnny started using the gym at the Live Well Center. He was interested in becoming a volunteer, so he met with Tania to get the ball rolling on his volunteer application. He got his start serving in the food pantry. Some days Johnny worked in the food pantry from open to close, and beyond! “Giving back feels awesome,” Johnny said. “I’ve done enough taking in my life, it feels great to finally give back.”
Johnny shared his favorite story at the food pantry, “one day I gave a lady a box of donuts. The lady said, ‘You just made my whole month!’ It was so special to me to hear how happy my small gesture made her.”
Two months later, he was hired as an employee of Poverello, soon after taking on a leading role at the Live Well Center, where Johnny brought the Live Well Center (LWC) through a huge transformation. He just kept cleaning, reorganizing, and added some homey touches to breathe fresh air into the LWC.
Most days of the week, Johnny can be found at Poverello. When he’s not working, he’s here volunteering. Johnny helps out coordinating fundraising events, and he even assists at the bi-weekly pop up pantry event in Jupiter.
David Milu, native of the Sunshine State, was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He went to high school at St. Thomas Aquinas. While in high school, David kept busy! He had a part time job at Abercrombie and Fitch, and he volunteered with different organizations including Kids in Distress. After high school, David moved to Orlando to pursue a degree at the University of Central Florida. David then went on to study Interior Design at the International Academy of Design & Technology. Then, continued his higher education in cosmetology school.
After spending some time in Orlando, David moved to Miami for a year. From Miami, he found his way back to Fort Lauderdale. In August of 2016, while he was looking for a job, David had a calling to give back, and searched for a way to make a difference. He found volunteering at Poverello to be the perfect fit. He started out packing food, then as a customer service representative in the food pantry. After a year of volunteering, David was hired part time; not long after, Poverello brought David aboard full time, and shortly after he was promoted to Intake Coordinator.
When a new client joins the Poverello family, David is one the first faces that they see at the agency. In his role, David makes sure that new clients understand all the great things that are available to them at The Poverello Center.
During the intake process, he assists clients with filling out their new client paperwork. Then he explains all the services that Poverello offers, service availability and how to access them, and how the process works for future visits to pantry.
David has an open-door policy, and lets the clients know they can always contact him with any questions they might have. David loves working at Poverello. “It’s all about the clients,” says David. “The difference that we make in our clients’ lives is all that matters.”
Johnny and David are both involved in the Events and Fundraising committee. They volunteer at all of Poverello’ s events, including WMBA, Bowling for Hunger, PRIDE Fort Lauderdale. Together, David and Johnny raised $5,000 at the 2018 AIDS Walk!
“We go to events to get the message out there,” David said. “It’s important to spread the word so that that people know the services that are available right here in our community.”
Johnny and David’s paths crossed while volunteering at Poverello, they started dating, and the rest is history. They are proof that you never know who you will meet at while giving back to your community.
It’s true that volunteering is a wonderful way to meet new people and make new friends and who knows, maybe you will find your better half while helping others at Poverello.
Article written by Allison Franconeri, Poverello Volunteer