People nearing retirement could learn a thing or two from Stephanie Smith, a volunteer with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
Smith views volunteering as a way to get to know new places and environments she didn’t have a chance to acquaint herself with while working full-time. You may see her at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts or at a Harlequin production, ushering guests to their seats. She has been a regular volunteer for both organizations for about 15 years.
“I have a stronger relationship with my community through volunteering,” she said.
Smith also has volunteered with Sound Learning, tutoring adults seeking to complete their GED, and South Sound Estuary, where she supported and learned about the marine environment.
Most recently, she became a Reading Buddy. She said a small investment of time generates great support to schools and students struggling to read at grade level.
“When I get feedback from the kids, I can see they are glad we get together every week. One week when I was traveling, my buddy missed me. It’s important to them,” Smith said.
She has seen how volunteering makes a difference. “It’s all of us united as a whole in action that is the real value of volunteering, and I love that United Way and RSVP are a hub to bring both the volunteer and the community need together.”
If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities in our community, contact Jennifer Thompson, Volunteer Coordinator with RSVP, at 360-943-2773, ext. 21 or visit unitedway-thurston.org/RSVP.