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?
My Alzheimer’s story has multiple chapters – first, my Grandmother died with Alzheimer’s disease in 2002. For the prior ~10 years I watched as her daily chores became impossible to complete and her memory was taken. She was an incredible cook, gardener, and self-sustaining woman, but she couldn’t recognize her own family thanks to this disease.
Nearly 20 years later, in October of 2021, my father died with the disease. This was a man who grew up with very little – went to Furman University on a football scholarship, received a Doctorate from Vanderbilt, and completed Divinity School at Harvard. He authored 17 books, was a college dean, a mentor and spiritual pillar to thousands of people, but once Alzheimer’s took over he couldn’t tell time, couldn’t dress himself, and the man who once knew every answer at Jeopardy couldn’t even put a sentence together.
What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?
Currently I am honored to serve as Chair of the 2023 Charlotte Walk Executive Leadership Team (ELT).
Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee members play a key role in the success of each event, from getting local companies involved to helping participants engage with our mission to planning the event experience.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?
Simple, the people. I’m lucky to have other great leaders on the ELT and surrounding the Association as a whole – their staff is amazing, and I’ve made so many wonderful friends through the Association. I am repeatedly overwhelmed at their personal stories of dealing with this horrible disease.
What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?
While I would love to say fundraising, awareness, recruiting, etc. has the biggest impact, it’s really the support provided by being a part of this community. I dealt with so much with my Grandmother and Father in dealing with this disease I want to be there to help others who are going through a similar situation.
If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?
Like any good volunteer organization should be, you really get out of this Association what you put into it. If you’ve been impacted by Alzheimer’s you can have an impact and when the day comes when there’s a world without Alzheimer’s, you’ll know you were a part of making that happen.
THANK YOU, COULTER
Volunteers truly help move our mission forward. Interested in becoming a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association in NC?
Visit alz.org/volunteer or call 800-272-3900.