Volunteers make an impact at LRD

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 7:50 PM | by mitch

By Dawn Drinkut, Client Navigator

A few hours of your time can make a big difference. Our volunteers make an impact when they deliver much needed supplies to our clients, make blankets for our care packages and welcome clients at our offices. Every day we rely on our volunteers to help us serve our community.

Laura Delaney began volunteering two years ago and wanted to give her time to an organization that helps those with cancer after her mother’s diagnosis.

In her short time as a volunteer Laura has helped with several of our special events, done data entry and delivered medical supplies to clients in need. Her favorite volunteer role is as a Door to Wellness concierge where she welcomes clients who are in treatment or are survivors. They receive therapeutic massages, yoga classes taught by oncology-certified teachers and healthy cooking classes.

“Door to Wellness is really good for clients and I have seen how helpful it is to them,” she said. “They are so happy when they come in, even those that are coming from treatment. I really feel like I am doing something productive and useful.”

Our five main areas of need are special events, garden club members, Delivery of Hope drivers, lay health educators, and Door to Wellness concierges. Interested volunteers should devote at least one hour a month. All volunteers must attend orientation and then receive training in their chosen field.

Shamika, a Delivery of Hope driver, started volunteering at Little Red Door after she referred some of her patients to the agency. “When I started to work with Little Red Door referring patients for services I got a lot of good feedback about how kind and helpful [everyone was].”

Shamika has been a volunteer for about two-and-a-half years, first as a lay health educator. When her schedule changed she switched to delivering clients nutritional supplements, care packages, wheel chairs and walkers. She likes being out in the community and making deliveries.

“As a social worker in a hospital I see only one side of a patient’s life,” she said. “Volunteering in this way I can promote and forward [the Little Red Door] mission while getting a holistic perspective of a patient’s life in their element.”

In addition to individual volunteer positions, we host volunteer groups throughout the year from businesses and schools. The past few years we have welcomed volunteers from Eli Lilly on their city-wide Day of Service and as a team they made hundreds of blankets for our client care packages. Last month students from the University of Georgia helped clean and organize our stock room.

Melody has been a volunteer for more than eight years and has helped at our golf outings, award ceremonies and other special events.

She lost her mother to cancer and understands how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be to those uninsured or underinsured. She likes giving back to the community and meeting our clients.

“It is so nice talking to people and they seem very appreciative,” she said. “One day I got to deliver on someone’s birthday and she was just tickled to see me there with a care package. We talked for a few minutes and you could tell it made her day.”

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, go here for more information and to apply.