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Get to Know a Volunteer: Michelle Walker

Michelle Walker started volunteering at Circle of Care as a student, and quickly realized the tremendous impact she plays in the lives of older adults in the community.

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

Circle of Care was one of the options given to me as a possible placement for school. I was really interested in trying something completely different and out of my comfort zone and decided to work with seniors. During my research, the programs that Circle of Care offered sparked my interest further. And after I met with Lisa and worked with the volunteer department, I was inspired to continue volunteering on my own.

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

I felt that I made a difference when I worked with the young adults bereavement group. Working with those four ladies was more than a pleasure, it was a great experience. At first I was nervous and always overthinking what I should say, since the participants could also have been considered my peers. After getting to know them and hearing their stories, I was compelled to share my thoughts and feelings with them. And by doing that I think I was able to make a difference.

3) Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?

Yes, volunteering has changed my outlook. Initially, my desire was to work with children and youth. I never really saw seniors as a population I wanted to volunteer with. But since volunteering at Circle of Care, I realized the tremendous impact that I can make in the lives of seniors. Working with seniors has its own rewards and benefits and their life is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

4) What makes a good volunteer?

A good volunteer is someone who listens and responds with compassion and empathy. Someone who is reliable and willing to be creative, but most importantly committed to the client(s) and their role.

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

If someone was interested in a volunteer position I would tell them to go for it. Sometimes the things that make us nervous or scared are what we need to challenge us. And with volunteering, somehow the clients we work with end up helping us more than we can help them, which is rewarding.

6) What are your interests outside of volunteering?

I love watching movies, preferably comedies, romance, action or sci-fi. I also love listening to music or talking about music and artists. But one of my strangest interests is watching interviews of influential people, celebrities and regular people.

7) Do you have any words to live by?

I would say my top two mottos that I live by are follow your heart and to be thankful. “Follow your heart” because sometimes we want to please or worry about others and forget about our own desires. “Be Thankful” because we tend to take things in our lives for granted when others might not have had the same privileges or experiences.

8) What is the most recent book you read?

The most recent book that I finished was Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. And I’m currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

9) Where is “home”?

Home is where your heart is. Meaning anywhere you feel the most safest and yourself is home. Home doesn’t have to be an actual house or with people who are your blood-related family.

10) Chocolate or vanilla?