It’s National Volunteer Week!
It’s National Volunteer Week and we are celebrating here at ACCA! Did you know that since March 2020, we have enrolled 318 new volunteers?! That is incredible! Together, we have delivered basic needs and reassurance to thousands of our community members. Since March, our volunteers have helped us deliver over 372,500 meals to more than 10,370 individuals and helped us complete over 244 buddy calls to 50 older adults. WOW!
To help celebrate National Volunteer Week, ACCA will be celebrating with a few stories and tributes to some of our volunteers. Check them out below!
Meet Xuan Tran and James Chin!
Xuan Tran is a senior at UGA looking to enroll in dental school in the fall. She joined us as volunteer in January and has been helping at our Athens Eats Together distribution sites leading a team at Hilsman Middle School.
James Chin is a local attorney and UGA alum. He leads a team of volunteers distributing Athens Eats Together meals at Clarke County Middle School and helps make sure every community member who stops by is welcomed and served. James joined us December and has been an incredible volunteer leader – showing our community that older adults are one of our biggest and most vital assets in continuing to serve our city!
When we asked Xuan and James what they learned about volunteering with ACCA, this is what they had to say:
Xuan: “This leadership experience was something new to me. It made me step outside of my comfort zone which allowed me to gain more self- confidence. I aspire to become a dentist, so this experience will help me efficiently lead the team. This volunteering experience also allowed me to learn more about the Athens communities. It made me become more aware of the limited access to food in the community. ”
James: “Athens is a special place with so many wonderful people and businesses. Volunteering with ACCA has provided me with the opportunity to meet some of them — individuals who have dedicated their careers to building a better community, businesses such as Lee Epting Events and the Athens Farmers Market that are donating food and resources, and so many volunteers ranging from students to retirees.”
Thank you, Xuan and James! We are so very thankful to have you both as distribution volunteers. We couldn’t do this without you!
Meet Tim Denson!
Tim Denson serves as a county commissioner for Clarke County and has been volunteering with ACCA since April 2020. Tim stepped in right as the pandemic began and has been a wonderful volunteer!
When we asked Tim what volunteering with ACCA has meant to him, this is what he had to say: “During this pandemic, we have all had limited opportunity to engage with each other, to meet new people. Volunteering with ACCA gave me the opportunity to meet new people and get to know neighbors I didn’t know before. Though short and socially distanced, I have enjoyed the moments I get to interact with, and get to know, folks I bring food to every week. Whether it is getting gardening tips or wishing each other happy holidays, it is a small beautiful moment when these lives that we all embody cross close enough to another so we can look each other in the eye and share a moment or two.”
We love those moments, too! Thanks for all that you do, Tim!
Meet Mike and Meryl Finnerty!
Mike and Meryl Finnerty have been Meals On Wheels volunteers for over 5 years! Not only are they Meals on Wheels volunteers, but they’re also helping with our Athens Eats Together distribution sites. These two don’t stop!
When we asked Mike and Meryl about their impact as a volunteer with ACCA, this is what they had to say: “Even the smallest of gestures of kindness, can have a big impact on someone’s life.” It’s so true! You never know what kind of a difference or impact you can make!
Mike and Meryl are pictured with their dachshund, Strudel, who accompanies them on their meal deliveries.
Meet Émilie Gille!
Émilie works as a Public Relations Coordinator at UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach. She joined us as Phone Buddy volunteer in August 2020 and has built amazing friendships with older adults in her community!
When we asked Émilie what kind of impact volunteering with ACCA has had on her, this is what she had to say: “This may seem like a small thing, but it makes me smile. I really enjoy talking with my phone buddy for those 10 or 15 minutes I usually can’t stop smiling. It’s just so nice to talk to someone new and get to know them and talk about anything.” Émilie, we have no doubt that they feel the same way!
Meet Mumbi Anderson!
Mumbi Anderson delivers meals to our Center for Active Living clients. She comes in every Monday with a smile and warmth for our clients who she has developed deep and lasting relationships with over the past year.
When we asked Mumbi her advice to others looking to volunteer, this is what she had to say: “If it’s overwhelming to think about, start small. an hour a week, and then go from there. And there’s nothing insignificant or trivial that one can do. I have kids and work full-time, so for me it was important to find something I could incorporate into my day. And with anything you’ve got going on, you can carve a little time and then find an organization who needs you. There are good fits for just about anyone.” Mumbi’s right! There are so many great opportunities out there. Maybe ACCA could be a great fit for you, too!
Meet Joe Wisenbaker!
Joe is a GeorgiaCares wizard! Anything you need help with, and he’s there!
When we asked Joe how volunteering impacted him, this is what he had to say: “It’s really helped me better understand the challenges faced by folks who struggle with debilitating health issues and are on Medicare. The process of navigating our health care ‘system’ is not simple for anyone – illness and poverty make it nearly impossible without informed and compassionate help. My work in ACCA’s GeorgiaCares office gives me a way to give something back to our community and, occasionally, help people save real money on their prescription medicines.”
Joe, you’re the absolute best and we are so thankful to have you as an ACCA GeorgiaCares Volunteer!!
ACCA’s volunteers are OUTSTANDING! We can’t even begin to tell you how much you each mean to our organization. Thank you!
Do you want to know more about becoming a volunteer? Make sure to visit https://www.accaging.org/volunteers/!