Volunteer Spotlight on Anita Robertson
National Volunteer Week, which is from April 15-21, is a time to celebrate and thank our volunteers for all that they do. This year’s theme is to celebrate the value of volunteering- building confidence, competence, connections and community.
We asked Anita to tell us what her "aha" moment about United Way was, this is what she said:
"I have had a few ‘aha’ moments regarding United Way but here’s one that stands out:
It was just after lunch, it was torrentially raining and I was visiting the Manchester After School Program to assess the books in the library, determining the types of books they were lacking. When I pulled into the parking lot the Manchester ASP was surrounded by about 8-10 police officers dressed in what I call 'swat gear'. They were in the middle of apprehending a major drug dealer and he was being very belligerent and difficult to manage. Once they had finally apprehended the man, the police allowed us to go into the ASP. We went about our business and did what we needed to do. I have to say that this experience stopped me in my tracks….I knew that when the elementary and high school children returned from school that day that they would hear all about the drug bust, BUT they had the Manchester ASP to go to. That afternoon the ASP was a place with professional and caring staff that afforded the children someone to talk to, a place that gave them a healthy after school snack, a place to give help with their evening homework, a place to access computers and a small library. The Manchester After School Program was place of respite in a chaotic world that rainy afternoon. This experience opened my eyes to an aspect of reality in our community. I knew that I needed to know more and do more going forward. ASP’s make a difference and without United Way these places of support and refuge wouldn’t exist. Our United Way has real impact in our community."
Many people who volunteer say that they get more than they give. Their acts of kindness, no matter how big or small can often change their perspective and outlook on life. We appreciate everything that you do Anita, and we are happy to dedicate this year’s National Volunteer Week to you!