Volunteering is not entirely Altruistic
When I retired in 2016, I knew that I wanted to give back to the community, but I did not know how or where. Advocating for women has been a cornerstone to my values all through my life so when I found out about Alexandra House my search for the WHERE ended. I knew, however, that I wanted to help “the helpers”. My admiration for the women who are on the “front lines” is boundless so I wanted to provide support to make their work easier.
Initially, I started in the kitchen, but I soon saw that I could lend a hand in other areas such as organizing the supplies and donations located in the garage so that the Advocates could find what they needed for the clients faster. Since then, I have moved over to Administration lending a hand with Development. It matters not to me that the work is “grunt” or the tasks are not necessarily appealing. All along this journey, the reward has been knowing that my contribution has made a difference to the folks at Alexandra House particularly as I have been able to tap into my skills/experience from my “previous professional life”. It is amazing what a simple “Thank You” from Danielle, Tina, or Sue does to invigorate my spirit.
Upon my sister’s retirement, I knew that she was exhausted from the merry-go-round of her professional career. She wanted to remain “relevant”. Initially, she was not sure how she could help but soon found a place at Alexandra House. Right now, we volunteer together on the same days, so it is a pleasure to be with my sister as we help with the various tasks they give us. One day, when we were leaving, she remarked how wonderful it is to be appreciated, that the folks always say, “Thank You”.
The moral of this story is that Alexandra House gives back in many ways and not to just the clients that they serve. The Mission is admirable and the services they provide are so vastly needed. While our volunteer efforts contribute in small ways, we derive tremendous satisfaction that we help “the helpers”.