Emma Rodbro — Young Professional
How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?
About a year and a half.
How did you get involved with DOROT?
I started as an intern in the 2013 Summer College Internship Program and have volunteered ever since.
What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?
Aside from my internship, I have volunteered at Thanksgiving Banquets and Package Deliveries. I also try and endorse DOROT’s internship program as much as possible. This fall I spoke at a college internship fair and at DOROT’s Board of Director’s meeting to share what a meaningful experience I had as an intern.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
Each person I have met through DOROT has taught me so much. My internship taught me a tremendous amount about careers. My fellow volunteers have taught me all about work/life balance. The seniors I have met during my time with DOROT have taught me countless lessons about life, love, and happiness. There are so many ways that DOROT has helped me to grow, and I could not be more thankful for the impact they have had on me.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
Every time I leave DOROT, I have a giant smile on my face. It is an incredible feeling knowing that my presence can really brighten someone else’s day. Not only that, but the time I spend with seniors makes my day better as well. DOROT always talks about how senior citizens can be lonely in New York. I’m 22, and even I feel lonely in this city. DOROT gives everyone, young and old alike, a place to spend time with genuine people and learn from one another. The people at DOROT are also incredibly thoughtful and caring. Each event is a joy to be a part of, and I am always so excited to be involved.
Most memorable volunteer moment
My experience with DOROT’s annual cemetery visit was one I will never forget. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of. For the visit, I was assigned to ride in a car with two widowed women. Shortly into the conversation, we discovered that one of them was the grandmother of my friend from college. We were all so surprised by this coincidence that we spent the rest of the ride telling stories of odd coincidences we have had in our lifetimes. Although we were in route to a cemetery, we did not stop laughing and chatting the entire time. When we went to drop the women off at the end of the day, one of them said that she had really been dreading the day and the emotions associated with visiting her husband’s grave. However, she ended up having a great time with our group in the car and was incredibly grateful for what a lovely day it had been. Those words always stick with me whenever I return to DOROT. It is a great feeling knowing that I am capable of lifting another person’s mood the way I did that day.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
I often think that DOROT does more for me than I do for them. DOROT really strives to make each volunteer experience beneficial for all the parties involved. Everyone in the Volunteer Services Department works to get to know each and every volunteer personally, and they tailor the experiences to fit both the senior’s and the volunteer’s needs. Volunteering with DOROT has been such a meaningful and exciting part of my life, and I hope to continue working with them for as long as I live.
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