As part of the ongoing Volunteer Spotlight series, we checked in with volunteer Pat Wallace on why she chooses to donate her time and energy to Alphapointe.
Q&A with Pat
Tell us about you…
I came to Alphapointe in October of 2018. My husband passed in January and then my mother passed in April. The three of us lived together and I was my mother’s care giver since my retirement in 2013. In May 2018, I began my search for lodging and praying about getting a job. I had not been in the workforce world for over five years and it was a little scary. I was told about a program that AARP sponsored. I called the agency and a Senior Community Employment Program workshop was being formed for the upcoming week. I signed up, qualified to participate, received workforce training (lifting-how and how much), safety on the job and then my employment specialist assisted me in finding a host agency. Alphapointe paperwork was the second agency we reviewed, I told her I would try that one and she made the appointment for me. I was interviewed and I began on Oct. 8, 2018.
Why do you Volunteer at Alphapointe?
Volunteering is not only helping to meet or complete a mission set forth by a philanthropic organization, but it provides a learning atmosphere and sometimes an awaking for the person who volunteers. The volunteer is involved and not just standing on the outside looking at the accomplishments of others.
What does volunteering at Alphapointe do for you?
At first it was my duty because Alphapointe is my assigned “Host” agency for the training program. But now I feel I am helping, in some small way, individuals who desire to live an independent life.
What do you take away when you leave Alphapointe?
I saw a couple, a blind man being led by a young woman, one day. She was guiding him by holding his hand, no cane. I told them I worked at Alphapointe and gave an explanation of what is done here. I told them about the arm and/or shoulder assistance when traveling together. They said they will practice and thanked me. I probably would not have paid any attention to them had I not been volunteering here.
What do you want to share with others about Alphapointe?
Volunteering at Alphapointe will pull you out of self and give you a desire to help others when you meet the clients. Not everyone comes with a positive attitude at the beginning, but there are enough who come to learn how to function in this world. This is encouraging.
What do you want others to know about Alphapointe?
I remember witnessing one client who was outfitted with a pair of filters (sunglasses) and her whole countenance changed. She came back to the clinic on timid footsteps because the brightness made it hard for her to see. After trying the use of filters, the client left with a more definite, sure step and the biggest smile on her face. The filters blocked out enough brightness that she could see without any or with very little assistance.
Why should others get engaged with Alphapointe?
It is rewarding because the Alphapointe staff have the clients’ best interest at heart.
Interested in helping Alphapointe? Learn more about our volunteer program!