With his eager smile and friendly demeanor, Ian came to volunteer with us this past July and quickly established himself as a reliable go-to volunteer. As a graduate student running his own landscaping business, it’s hard to imagine him having the time available to volunteer as much as he has—over 150 hours since July.
When asked why he chose to volunteer with us, Ian explains that it was a partially selfish reason.
“As an aspiring medical student and surgeon I’m competing against thousands of well qualified peers for some of the top educational and occupational opportunities. Part of the struggle of medical school acceptance is being a well-rounded applicant … volunteering is an important aspect of this balance.” He goes on to explain,
“As a graduate student I found myself having enough balance and happiness in my own life that I wanted to find a way to give back/add to my surrounding community. I think it’s common for people to get caught up focusing on themselves, their goals, and at times letting self-pressure cause unnecessary stress in their lives. I see this particularly with fellow undergraduate and graduate students at UVM. I find a really helpful way to keep myself grounded and happy is to take time away from thinking about myself and volunteering”
In the five months since Ian started volunteering with us, he has started covering overnights as well as helping out with additional tasks. We recently replaced the carpets in seven of our guest rooms and Ian was among the volunteers who helped with the heavy job of moving furniture out of the rooms and helping afterwards with putting the rooms back together so they were ready for guests. Ian’s help with this project was so important in getting the work done quickly and with as little disruption to our guests as possible.
His enthusiasm for being here in whatever capacity is needed always shines through. He has even referred friends who have come here to volunteer as well! “Volunteering at the house is extremely flexible and low commitment, so even if you’re the busiest person around, there’s probably still a shift that can work for you. The reward is personal satisfaction and being part of a really strong community that will only bring you up by joining. It’s one of the best choices I’ve made to volunteer here and I plan to include volunteering at the RMHC throughout my life.
Staff and guests alike enjoy the positive energy Ian brings to the House. We count ourselves lucky to have someone like Ian in our community and look forward to his continued service.