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 2022, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…
What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?
After my mom passed in 2018 after battling Alzheimer’s for several years, I was looking for a meaningful way to honor her and what she meant to me, our family. Also, it is important for me to assist others in the community who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or are caregiving for loved ones living with the disease. I did lots of research to determine which direction to go in and learned about the advocacy and research that Alzheimer’s Association provides and knew this was THE organization I needed to be a part of. Specifically, advocating with the local legislative body for a cause as worthy as the Alzheimer’s Association is something that I am extremely proud of and happy to do. My work with the Alzheimer’s Association is validated each time a bill is created/passed that moves Alzheimer’s research toward a cure for this terrible disease.
What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?
My role as an Ambassador with the Alzheimer’s Association has afforded me the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who are as passionate about Alzheimer’s advocacy and research as I am. I have been able to meet with politicians from my state (N.C.) to speak with them about the impact Alzheimer’s has had on our family and how the disease impacts the community emotionally, and financially. Speaking with politicians who are familiar with the disease can be eye-opening because some of them have been profoundly touched by the disease and it is important for them to honor their loved ones who suffered with the disease.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?
Honestly, what I enjoy most about the volunteering with Alzheimer’s Association is the Advocacy Forum held in D.C. until the pandemic brought everything to a standstill. Meeting individuals from across N.C. as well as across the nation is extremely impactful. The Forum provided a method of networking to determine what others are doing in other states to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s that we might incorporate in N.C. So many of us share the same story of watching a loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s. We find strength in each other. Although we have not been able to meet face-to-face in a couple of years, I do look forward to resuming the in-person advocacy Forum. Also, providing valuable education to our local government representatives is extremely rewarding because they learn just how impactful Alzheimer’s is to their constituents, and how they can lighten the load of Alzheimer’s caregivers in their area. Also, participating in Alzheimer’s events relating to The Longest Day is always fun!!
What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?
The piece of my role that makes the biggest impact is speaking directly with my local government representative because it’s a way of sharing the story of my family and our struggle with Alzheimer’s. It affords me opportunities to honor the Alzheimer’s community and promote research to create a cure for Alzheimer’s. Also, speaking directly with our local legislatures and their staff always brings with it, the opportunity to establish personal connections to build upon in the future.
If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?
If someone is considering volunteering with the Association, I would say to definitely bring your skills, talents, and passion to the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s going to take all of us doing whatever we can to eradicate this disease. Regardless of your age, political affiliation, ethnicity, culture, or socio-economic level, we have all been touched by the disease and with all of us united behind a single cause, we can ensure that the generations after us will not have to navigate the social, emotional, and financial implications of Alzheimer’s.
THANK YOU, STACEY.
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.