How did you learn about AFS and what prompted you to get involved?
My son David was an alternate to go abroad with AFS. He was not selected but I was motivated to get involved to create more homes and opportunities for students to be placed here. We’ve hosted seven times from six different countries.
What keeps you coming back to volunteer each year?
I’ve been involved for 45 years! I really like the families that I meet and tremendously enjoy the foreign students that we get to place in our area. It keeps me young and I just love to connect with people. There are so many negative things happening in this world, but I just really love and believe in the AFS mission because it’s such a positive thing we can all do in this world.
What’s a typical volunteer “shift” like for you?
I used to start my day with checking in and going through all the physical applications and fax them around to schools or families, etc… oh my goodness so much work! But now, I still check in daily on my computer to keep up with all that’s happening. Every day when I go anywhere, I’m still thinking of AFS. When I’m at church, in the store, I constantly seize any opportunity to speak AFS to anyone I meet. Honestly, it’s very effective! Everyone should try it!
What have you learned or how have you been personally affected by your experience with AFS?
I’ve learned that even though we may get discouraged from all the sad things happening in the world, the AFS mission continues to change lives for the better. I’ve seen it happen every year. I am still in contact with students from years ago who have gone on to become wonderful people who are currently making positive impacts in their own communities around the world. Staying involved keeps you grounded knowing that you are actually doing something to help the world… I really believe that.
Please share the best or funniest thing that’s happened to you while volunteering with AFS?
Oh my goodness, two of my students have named their children after me! I’ve also been invited to attend a wedding or two!
What do you want to say to people who might be interested in volunteering with AFS?
I would say, look beyond your everyday life to something bigger and more important and you’ll find it with AFS.
What is the one thing AFS volunteers and staff don’t know about you?
All the other volunteer positions that I’ve held throughout the years in my community. I’ve never worked professionally outside the home. I’ve been fortunate enough to give my time to various causes that would help better my community and the world. It keeps me going each day and I love it. But I gave my heart to AFS.