When did you first start volunteering?
“I started volunteering with the Department of Medicine in 2007, when I was a member of the Department of Medicine Event Committee, to plan a picnic. Since then, I have volunteered on several committees, including membership in Emory University’s Senate Diversity Committee. Outside of Emory University and the department, I have held several positions in various organizations. However, my main focus over the past 13 years has been as the coordinator of an annual independence picnic (reunion) for the people of my islands (St. Kitts and Nevis). Attendance has grown exponentially. Last year, more than 600 people from throughout the United States and the islands attended.”
With which organizations are you most involved?
I am most involved in the Planning Committee of the Annual Administrative Professionals Symposium. I have been a member of the Event Exchange Group and the Wesley Woods Volunteer Recognition Event.”
Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
“I think it’s important in that–whatever the organization–the need is so great. And although my contributions may be deemed unimportant by some, helping others has always been my main focus. It comes naturally, and I attain a sense of peace.”
How has volunteering affected you personally?
“Volunteering impacts me personally when I realize that my contributions, whether monetarily or in kind, have made quite a difference in someone else’s life.”
Has the Department of Medicine helped you find volunteer opportunities? Which events have you enjoyed most?
“The department offers so many different [volunteering opportunities] that some of these areas jump out at you, and you cannot turn your back on helping. The events that I have enjoyed most were the 2012 and 2013 Hunger Walks/Runs and being on the Department of Medicine team sponsored by Project M-PACT. In 2012, I was the top fundraiser for the department and raised $1,235. Our division (Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology) won the Chair’s Cup! In 2013, I was top fundraiser again, raising $695. My plan is to continue with future Hunger Walks/Runs and raise as much money as I can. Although we may not be able to eradicate hunger, we can all help to alleviate it. That is my goal.”
Linda D. Clarke is an administrative assistant for the Division of General Medicine and Geriatrics.