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Get to Know a Volunteer: Claudette Bartholomew

1) What inspired you to begin volunteering for Circle of Care?

I was a patient at Mount Sinai hospital and saw first-hand what a difference the volunteers made there. Everyone was so friendly, patient and helpful. Navigating a big hospital can be an intimidating experience but from the moment you stepped through the door you were made to feel welcome. I wanted to be part of an organization that had such a positive impact on people’s lives.

2) Is there a specific moment you recall while volunteering that made you feel like you made a real difference?

I call it the “light up” moment. It’s when a client goes beyond their own expectations, breaks out of their shell or tries something they never would have considered before. It is a privilege to see this.

3) Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?

Volunteering has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. It makes you more aware of what is going on around you in general and of people that may be in need of aid in particular. Personally, I find that I look for ways to be of assistance in my every day life. I also try to have contact with at least one stranger daily; whether that be a hello, eye contact or just a smile. That is the one thing that has definitely changed. I’m more connected with the people around me and much more willing to intervene if there is a problem.

4) What makes a good volunteer?

A good volunteer should be friendly, positive and accommodating with a ready smile and an outgoing disposition.

5) What advice would you give to someone who is considering a volunteer position?

Go. For. It . Volunteering is such a rewarding experience. You are also giving back to your community and setting an example that other people can follow. If you are considering it you half-way there.

6) What are your interests outside of volunteering?

Walking in our beautiful parks, reading, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

7) Do you have any words to live by?

Become the change you want to see.

8) What is the most recent book you read?

I’m currently addicted to anything by Adele Parks. I’m in the middle of reading Whatever it Takes.

9) Where is “home”?

Wherever my family is.

10) Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate and vanilla, plus whipped cream, caramel sauce, pecans….I can go on forever.

image of Claudette