Thank you to Donna Nugent, one of our fantastic new volunteers, for graciously offering her story to our Renew family. From the time I have shared with Donna, she has been incredibly sincere and loving. She adds so much to our team, thank you Donna!
“I would like to tell you a little about how becoming a volunteer at Renew has impacted me.
If I could sum up the last year in one word it would have to be “change.” My life has been full of changes in a short period of time and it has been hard, yet good in some ways too as I can see the blessings that God has provided along the way. I lost my husband, Ted, of 46-years in July of 2017. The last several years of his life became increasingly challenging as he became ill and struggled to find peace with his situation. With Ted’s passing, of course life shifted and I found myself naturally trying to process the grief but also facing the change for myself, on a personal level. This shift uncovered emotions and brought questions that left me contemplating how I should fill my time and what my purpose is … or what it should be.
I attend All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Father Corwin Stoppel has been an essential part of my healing, continually providing encouragement to me along the way. One day, as I was discussing this new chapter in my life with him, I brought up volunteering as an option. Although I was uncertain, Father supported the idea and convinced me to follow this prompting.
And so it began – in January 2018, I began my role as Volunteer at Renew Therapeutic Riding Center. As I have stepped into this role and opened up to new opportunities and new friendships, my perspective of my situation and life have evolved. I began at Renew with a simple desire and motivation to help others. Yet, what I have found as a result of volunteering is that I too am being blessed by the program, the relationships, and the experience. It has filled a void in my life and I have found a kind of fulfillment that far exceeded my expectations. Working with the students, seeing their struggles, watching how hard they work to overcome their unique challenges and strive to reach their goals has made me have a new perspective and appreciation for what I have. These students are so grateful and have so much joy for the little things in life.
I look so forward to Monday mornings when I am scheduled to volunteer because I am able to help these students. I feel that I am making a difference. Just the other day a student’s mom said to me, referring to her daughter, “She just loves coming here!” I get to share in their experiences and in the joy and excitement of their accomplishments. Despite all of the changes for me within the last year, I feel blessed – to have found this organization and for the impact it has had on my life. I will continue to help Renew and would encourage anyone interested in volunteering for this remarkable program.”
*If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact our Communications Coordinator, Michelle by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.