Caryn Acs’ volunteer journey with Girls Hope began when she had just moved to the Pittsburgh region and was searching for ways to become involved in her new community. Initially, she partnered with Girls Hope as a Residential Volunteer, helping to lessen the load for our staff when it came to everyday household tasks. After starting a new position with BNY Mellon in 2011, Caryn’s volunteer experience transitioned into a corporate one, as she brought her co-workers along with her to participate in our A Day of Caring program.
During A Day of Caring, volunteers from some of our corporate and community partners join us at one of our residences to help us complete the basic responsibilities that make our houses comfortable homes for our scholars.
“We start with a group meeting and usually coffee and pastries,” Caryn says, describing a typical A Day of Caring experience. “We meet about goals and activities that might need to be accomplished that day and make a plan. We circulate two lists and cross the items off – planting flowers, washing cars, cleaning windows, one man was very handy and even checked that the bikes were safe.”
Caryn says that while these small projects might not seem individually significant, together they make a world of difference to the Girls Hope scholars.
“It’s kind of like a fairy tale with the shoe makers and the elves,” Caryn explains. “When [the scholars] come home from school, they can tell that things are a little shinier and a little brighter. The girls come home from school and can focus on learning and education. We make that possible.”
While A Day of Caring volunteers help our staff create a safe and relaxing environment for our scholars to enjoy, the program proves to be equally beneficial for our participating partners.
“We get a diverse chance at team building,” Cary says. “We are not in the office and we are not taking a class, but we are given a common goal. It gives you a chance to strengthen your relationships and make connections. Having a great network of people to really rely on is a great thing.”
Caryn says that she feels fortunate to work for a company that allows her to go out and support the community that she lives and works in.