This week's blog was written by Hyun Berkley, Community Participation Initiative Assistant. When I met Ann Johnson 16 months ago, she was working full time at the Commission for the Blind yet she wanted to find volunteer opportunities in the community. She is kind, generous, nurturing and dependable.
Ann has volunteered at the Goodwill Industries with their on-line sales department helping them package products that have been purchased. Ann was always ready to volunteer but the work was not always there.
So, recently we explored other options. Ann has always loved being around children and she told me about her experience volunteering at the Kalamazoo Drop-in Childcare Center where she rocked the babies. She tried to volunteer there again but they don’t need any help at this time.
Through our network of community supporters including our partner the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo, we were able to find a meaningful volunteer opportunity for Ann. Since early this year, Ann has been volunteering at the YMCA Maple Street Preschool.
Ann enjoys watching the kids play and helping them relax after lunch so that they are ready for a nap. She also interacts with them during lunch hour opening containers and listening to their stories. She looks forward to every Thursday when she volunteers at the YMCA Maple Street Preschool.
Tim Sheldon, Assistant Director, at the YMCA Maple Street Preschool said that the feeling is mutual. When the children come in from the playground, the children say “Miss Ann is here, Miss Ann is here!”