Charles Elligson – National Volunteer Week 2020 Spotlight

We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for giving their time to better the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our volunteers are truly the heart of the Alzheimer’s Association here in North Carolina.

In honor of National Volunteer Week 2020, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…

Charles Elligson
Cornelius, NC

What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?

The experience of caring for your loved one diagnosed with dementia, is seared into your very soul.  Nothing in my life prepared me for this new frightening challenge. It was a support group which literally saved my life.  Finding, and participating in a support group brought me to Alzheimer’s Association. After my wife passed, knowing the value of support and having a background in groups and facilitation, I started my volunteer journey with the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Chapter. I love that role and experience.

What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?

Support Group Facilitator for caregivers impacted by frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

Support Group Facilitators create a safe, open environment where people share their feelings, thoughts and experiences in a combined effort to better cope with and manage the shared problems of dementia.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?

Interacting and connecting with support group members at our meetings. It’s a real treasure being present, observing their sharing of information and experiences that make a difference or answer a need of a member.  A support group holds critical information that other providers like doctors, nurses do not.

What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?

It’s the holding of that sacred space where members, taking a risk, come and share, allowing other members to gain insight, solve very difficult problems, and by so doing, provide resolve for the difficult daily journey ahead.

If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?

I would share information about my personal experience and the impact on my life.  If they are talking about joining, I would say: JOIN!  I would provide the brochure “Alzheimer’s Association: Western Carolina Chapter, which has all the information they need to join.

THANK YOU, CHARLES


Volunteers truly help move our mission forward. Interested in becoming a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association in NC?
Visit alz.org/get-involved-now/volunteer or call 800-272-3900. 

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