Vicky has been volunteering since she was a teenager in Atlanta, Georgia.
She began by teaching vacation Bible school as part of her church’s mission to the cotton mill slums of Atlanta. Over time, she donated her stamping skills and created greeting cards that were sent to church members who were ill. Later, as a volunteer for the Literacy Network, Vicky taught a 70-year-old woman how to read.
When she drove to downtown Madison for events and appointments, Vicky would often take Williamson Street, where she noted the Council’s name on the building. She was searching for a one-on-one volunteer experience, so she contacted us about opportunities. Happily, we were able to help because we had just received a request for a volunteer reader. That was more than three years ago. Now, Vicky looks back with satisfaction on the special friendship that has developed over time between her and Nancy.
Both women are interested in politics, so they choose a book to read and dig in. Vicky reads to Nancy every two weeks. Most of the time, it’s in Nancy’s home, but Vicky has read to Nancy when she was in the hospital and at a nursing home. While Nancy benefits from Vicky’s reading, Vicky has derived great pleasure from their connection. “We are so mutual in our interests and concerns about social justice. I’m continually inspired by Nancy’s courage and zest for life. Just like the saying ‘Carpe diem,’ Nancy seizes the day, and she doesn’t allow her impairments to impede her pursuit of a full life.”
Vicky admires Nancy’s curiosity and passion for learning new things. If they come across an unfamiliar word, Nancy offers to look it up on the Internet. “Nancy’s resourcefulness just adds a lot of fullness to the volunteer experience,” Vicky reflected.
Based on her volunteer experience with Nancy, Vicky offers a little advice for those who might consider volunteering for the Council: “If you are interested in a one-on-one experience, go with an open attitude and drop any stereotypes that might limit what you can learn from the other person.”