Why I Volunteer: Meet Debra
Debra Hiltz just had a feeling. She knew very little about the Alzheimer Society, but every time she drove by the office, she thought that it must be a great place to work.
Turns out she was right.
Debra has now been volunteering with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford for more than two years. Once a week, she goes into the office to help with administrative tasks. She jumps in wherever she’s needed, whether it’s photocopying, making phone calls or helping put a presentation together. She also helps out at the Walk for Alzheimer’s.
The warm, supportive staff make her excited to come back every week.
“I’m always greeted with a smile and even the occasional high-five in the hallway. Every week, I say I’m going for my weekly dose of positivity!”
The welcoming atmosphere has done more than put a smile on Debra’s face – it’s also helped reduce the anxiety she was feeling before she got involved. The confidence she’s developed in the position has led her to try new things she wouldn’t have in the past.
Knowing a lot about the Alzheimer Society’s programs wasn’t a prerequisite for getting involved. Through volunteering, Debra has learned about how the Alzheimer Society supports people living with many different forms of dementia. It’s information she wishes she’d known when her dad had dementia, before he passed away.
“The support given would have been so valuable to us,” she says. “We had no idea how to deal with things and I think the guidance and support would have made such a difference.”
Now Debra gets to help make a difference in others’ lives. Volunteering her time helps the Alzheimer Society staff deliver their many resources to the community, from information sessions to support groups.
Giving back to the community is a “great feeling,” she says. “I always feel like I’m getting more than I’m giving.”
Debra would encourage anyone looking for a volunteer opportunity to consider the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. For her, the staff’s encouragement and support have made all the difference.
“They are so thankful and appreciative of their volunteers,” she says. “They really make you feel like you are part of their team.”