Thursday, 10 November 2016

Volunteer Helps Reunite Families

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Michelle Tremblay is a Canadian who fell in love with Arizona. She started spending her winters in the Valley of the Sun five years ago.

Michelle has enjoyed volunteering her whole life. Now that she is retired, she has more time to devote to helping others. Last year, she joined a local women’s group. The ladies wanted to do their part to help the less fortunate. They collected purses and filled them with toiletries and donated them to domestic violence shelters.

Group Volunteers Help Local Children

“I was looking into places to give purses and came across Catholic Charities. I made a phone call and got hooked up with Brittany Allen,” says Michelle.  “I learned about Read Across America and a foster care carnival.”

Michelle’s group volunteered for both events. “Ten of us went to Westside Head Start to read to kids and four of us volunteered at the carnival.”

“They were so eager to help,” says Allen. “Any upcoming event Catholic Charities was participating in, they wanted to know about and get involved. We were grateful for the help!”

Michelle had extra time each week and wanted to help more. She began volunteering a few days a week with Catholic Charities adoption program.

Volunteer Makes Lasting Impact

Now, Michelle has an important job. She is updating an electronic database with old files so they will be easier to search and save. “There are tons of files that need to be added to the database so that families can reconnect. It’s a big job,” says Michelle.

Currently, Michelle is working on files several days a week. “I’m happy to help Catholic Charities accomplish the task of reconnecting families. It’s a whole lot of work. I see a picture of a mother looking for her son and a son looking for his mother. I can’t imagine what that means for people. My part is so small, I’m just helping them get the information to them,” says Michelle.

Though Michelle sees her role as small, the important work she is doing will allow families once separated the chance to be reunited. Sally Gramke, Catholic Charities administrative assistant says, “Michelle is an administrative dynamo! She tackled our archive project head-on and has made such an impact in getting the information updated. We appreciate her dedication and commitment whole heartedly!”   

Learn how you or your group can volunteer to help people in need. You can volunteer once or on an ongoing basis.

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