December is one of our favorite months here at United Way! Everyone is in the holiday spirit and helping others becomes a more frequent occurrence. We are thrilled today to recognize not one, but three Volunteers of the month for December. These women not only give their time in the holiday season, but year round, specifically to the Dumas Wesley Clothing Closet. Congratulations to Amanda Hunter, Ruby Pond, and Barbara Burks, United Way’s December Volunteers of the Month.
Joni Hendee of Dumas Wesley nominated these three women for their exemplary service to the Dumas Wesley Clothing Closet. We normally only recognize one person for Volunteer of the Month but Joni’s statement in regard to that was: “Ms. Ruby, Ms. Burks and Ms. Amanda have been volunteering in the closet for over a year. They volunteer sorting, organizing and serving patrons each week. I know you asked for one, but really without all three the closet would not be able to open”
A little about the closet: The clothing closet serves the Mobile community every Thursday from 10-11:30. A person or each member of the household can receive up to 6 items of clothing once a month. The seasonal closet offers a variety of gently used and new clothing and shoes donated from local businesses and the community.
A little about the volunteers: Amanda is a licensed attorney, mother of two, and had previously been an executive director of a non-profit and also a domestic violence coordinator for legalservices. Ruby is new to the state of Alabama, having lived in Ohio; she has lived here for 2 years. She also volunteers feeding the homeless one day a week. Barbara is a mother, devoted grandmother, avid gardener, active member of her church, community advocate and neighborhood watch member. We caught up with them for a short interview:
UWSWA: What made you want to begin volunteering?
Amanda: I have always volunteered in some form. I grew up poor after my parents divorced. My family at some point was on food stamps and reduced lunches. I was taught at an early age the importance of giving back.
UWSWA: What other types of things have you been doing?
Barbara: I have taken all of the citizen academies; police, Mobile Fire Rescue, FBI Academy, Volunteer at Dearborn YMCA, Poll worker, taking elderly neighbors to the Dr. and other appointments.
UWSWA: What do you enjoy about volunteering?
Amanda: Giving back to the community and meeting people.
Ruby: Meeting new people and helping others.
Barbara: Watching the faces of hope and heart felt “Thank you’s” knowing that I’ve helped someone.
UWSWA: Is there a moment that stands out in your mind about your volunteer experience, as interesting or noteworthy?
Ruby: Helping a gentleman find clothing, because he wanted to attend church. He was really grateful and could not thank me enough for taking the time with him.
UWSWA: Why would you recommend volunteering to others?
Amanda: Everyone should do as much as they can to help the community they live in.
Ruby: It’s a good way to meet new people and to know that helping others is a good thing.
Barbara: If they have a love of giving back and a desire to help others, then volunteering is for them.
UWSWA would like to thank Amanda, Ruby, and Barbara for the difference they are making in the lives of many people through the Dumas Wesley Clothing Closet.
If you would like information on volunteering in your community, or if you would like to nominate someone for UWSWA’s Volunteer of the Month, please contact: Kristin Woods by calling (251)433-3624 or emailing her at email@example.com.