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Spotlighting our Volunteers

A Decade of Volunteerism
Jerry Lloyd, Helping Link volunteer for 10+ years

Jerry Lloyd has been supporting Helping Link as a volunteer since 2013. As a volunteer Jerry oversees the management of the Helping Link database, which involves entering the data and generating reports. Post-retirement he was looking to do some volunteer work that tapped into his interest in the software Salesforce, which manages the database used by Helping Link. “In doing a search of the website I saw the volunteer opportunity listed. The listing mentioned looking for a person interested in learning Salesforce. It was a good opportunity to volunteer and learn sometime new,” he says. And what is most rewarding about being a volunteer? “I find the most interesting thing is the gratitude I see in the people being supported by volunteer organizations,” he says. “I also have learned from other volunteers of the satisfaction they find in helping people.” For those considering volunteering, Jerry recommends researching a place that aligns with your interests but also being open to new opportunities and experiences. 

Jerry says, “Start slow and be consistent with your support. There is self-satisfaction in volunteering. As someone told me, ‘You cannot fail in volunteering.’” 

The Enduring and Beneficial Impacts of Giving Back
Valerie Conklin, Helping Link Volunteer

At Helping Link, our volunteers like Jerry provide invaluable support for the programs and services we provide, including volunteers who teach our ESL and technology classes. Past volunteer Valerie Conklin has served as an ESL teacher with Helping Link. Here’s a bit of her story, in her own words, on what inspired her to extend her support:  

“My time as a volunteer ESL teacher at Helping Link hugely impacted my life in such a positive way! I learned that I LOVE teaching and my experience with Helping Link led me to getting accepted into the competitive JET Program to teach English in Japan. I even opened by own private tutoring business later. Even now in my career as a software developer, I thank Helping Link for teaching me how to communicate ideas simply and clearly to an audience with a different background from me, a skill I use every day when explaining my code to non-technical colleagues. “Best of all, the students themselves were all so wonderful and kind and introduced me to the incredible world of Vietnamese culture, which I still feel connected to years later.”