SOAR365 volunteer activities are key to supporting hundreds of clients with disabilities and connecting the community with our human services mission. And one dedicated volunteer recently described an additional benefit of getting involved with SOAR365.
“During the painting project on the Martin Luther King holiday, I worked with volunteers with different backgrounds and from other parts of Richmond,” said Olivia Wood, who participated with a group of colleagues from the Richmond Chapter of Commercial Property Casualty Underwriters. “We enjoyed the experience and bonded over our shared commitment to serve others.”
In fact, Olivia and some of her new volunteer friends helped out at the SOAR365 Annual Awards Banquet and will return for duty at the 23rd Ladybug Fund Wine Tasting and Silent Auction. “This is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people who want to support vital human services,” said Olivia. “We have also enjoyed meeting individuals with disabilities who are served by SOAR365. It’s an ideal way for us to unite our volunteer work with this organization’s mission.”
Growing up in Richmond, Olivia participated in group activities and community service from an early age. “I was active with the Girl Scouts,” she said. “This was a growth experience, when we learned to make friends and collaborate on projects.” Years later, after completing her insurance-focused studies at VCU, she began a career in underwriting and now works from an office in Scott’s Addition. In recent years, Olivia has dropped off contributions to community fridges/pantries and made life-saving blood donations.
She notes that the give-and-take aspects of volunteering are vital to feeling part of the larger community. “Volunteers contribute their time and effort, and they in turn gain new insights and perspectives through this involvement,” she said. “We really value the friendships made through these activities. Let’s be honest. As adults, it can often be difficult making new friends. This is a positive, no-stress way to connect with others in the community and build important relationships.”
Olivia and her new friends recently agreed on a name for their quartet of women volunteers. “We didn’t have an official name, but I took a group poll and we landed on Charitable Chicks,” she said. So be on the lookout for the Charitable Chicks at the April Ladybug Fund event and other SOAR365 activities in the future!
To find out more about volunteer opportunities at SOAR365, please send an email to [email protected]!