SHARON MATTHEWS – National Volunteer Week 2023 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 2023, 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?

I had donated to the Alzheimer’s Association for several years because the mission is important to me. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia impacted my mother and several other close family members. When I was approached about becoming a member of the Western Carolina Chapter board, the timing was right. I was looking for a volunteer leadership role with a local charitable organization. Then there was the opportunity to learn more about the organization and make an even greater impact in fighting this terrible disease. It was easy to say yes.

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

I am a member of the Western Carolina Chapter Board of Directors.  That’s a strategic leadership and advocacy role with other wonderfully engaged, committed and enthusiastic volunteers. I was invited to represent the board and join the North Carolina delegation that attended the Alzheimer’s Association National Leadership Summit earlier this year. That was one of the most motivational experiences I have had. I came away more inspired to do my part as an impactful board member and to learn how to be a better advocate for the organization and the cause.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?

I enjoy being part of discussions with the organization’s leadership and other board members about the strategic direction of the organization and how we can broaden and diversify our donor base and fundraising efforts. More revenue can help ensure we have adequate staffing and increase the impact the organization can have.

I also enjoy learning. Although my family was impacted by Alzheimer’s and dementia, I’m not aware that anyone knew about the resources and support available through the Alzheimer’s Association. I certainly didn’t. I’m also learning about the hope that promising treatments are providing. The science behind the drugs is complex, and I can’t yet talk about them easily. There is also complexity in the medical diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and all kinds of dementia. I’m learning more about that too.

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

Sharing my “why.” I find that almost every time I share that I’m a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Board, someone responds with their Alzheimer’s or dementia story. I believe I can help make an impact and more connections with some of our underserved communities where Alzheimer’s occurs at a greater rate in the population. Knowledge of resources to support individuals and family members who are on this journey can be life-changing.  

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

I’d be like “yes please!”  There are so many ways to volunteer. Express your interest in becoming a member of the board.  You can host a The Longest Day event and creatively raise money for the cause. You can sign up to help with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or join a team to walk and raise funds. Registration is free. I’ve registered and am working on my own team and approach to improve on what I accomplished last year.  You can purchase a ticket to the Memory Gala. Contact the organization and let us know you’d like to be a corporate or business sponsor. But remember you can make a monetary donation of any amount. You can volunteer to help with education and training.  Please go to the website for more information.


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

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