To celebrate our 25th Anniversary we challenged our volunteers to do more work than ever, and the 25 Challenge was born. Volunteers could either volunteer 25 hours of their time on projects, or do 5 projects in 5 boroughs in 2012. Our volunteers were happy to meet the challenge. After receiving a “thank you” email from us, volunteer Loida wrote us the following note.
Thank you so much for a heart warming email- I never thought I would be recognized that much. I forwarded your email to my kids in the Philippines & they shared it to their friends through social media. I’m so happy I made them proud.
My life here in the U.S. is a typical immigrant story. I came here to work hard to give my family back home a good life, send my kids to college with the hope that someday they will be able to join me. My early years here were quite routine – work, home, work. I went out with friends during off days, but most of the time I just stayed home and rested. I missed the time I spent in the Philippines doing a bit of charitable work while working in the government. I had thought of volunteering, and searched online for an organization to join, and that’s how I found New York Cares.
I started volunteering on March 24, 2011 a day after orientation at the New York Cares office. Since I’m only off from work once a month for four days I see to it that I volunteer for a day or two. I tried to maximize my effort so sometimes I would do two projects in a day. I’m not choosy in picking up projects – I do one which fits my free time. I loved every project I have volunteered on, and I think it’s because I put my heart and soul into it that I found very nice and helpful Team Leaders along the way.
New York Cares changed my routine-based life, I feel energized every time I finish a project, and I never feel homesick anymore because I’m able to meet people from different walks of life and explore New York City on my own. Volunteering also provided me additional knowledge and skills.
If the time comes for me to retire (I’ll be 60 this year), I want to start an organization similar to New York Cares in our city in the Philippines. Hopefully I have the talent and resources to be able to make my plan a reality.
Thank you for everything you have done for me, I will forever be grateful. More power and all the best!
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