Claire Shaffer: Long-time MOM Volunteer
To best meet the often complex needs of our clients, we recently hired a full-time Office Manager to handle all front desk duties. Our hope is that having one staff member at the front desk will make the consistency of information-sharing to clients more manageable. The service of over thirty dedicated and compassionate volunteers who gave their time as a front desk volunteer each month has been invaluable to MOM. We feel so fortunate to have had such caring people serve our organization in this role throughout the years! This is the story of one of these volunteers who served at the front desk for over two decades.
by Megan Hanson, Volunteer
Not many people remember MOM’s earliest days when it was based out of Middleton Community Church. But Claire Shaffer has been volunteering for MOM for decades, and she recalls, “Back in the eighties, volunteer Ruth Close dressed up in a character called Mother Hubbard, traveling around different churches and events, dressed like an old granny in a little hat! It was a fun way to get the word out.” As one of MOM’s longest serving volunteers, we asked Claire to share her experiences from her many years as a MOM volunteer and supporter.
When did you start volunteering at MOM and why?
“I started out working in the food pantry and in the office when MOM had a space in St. Luke’s church. I also helped run the Back to School drive for a few years. My grandkids would come in and help me stuff the backpacks. When it first started, we had less kids we were serving, so we got their actual supply lists list from teachers and schools. We could personalize each backpack a bit, that was fun. But it got to a point where there were more kids that needed assistance, so the program had to grow. It’s evolved into the great program it is now.”
What do you like about MOM?
“I think the personal touch of MOM makes it stand out. A couple of my good friends work in the pantry, and have developed relationships with some of MOM’s clients. People always say how nice the volunteers are. We, as volunteers, serve because we really love MOM. We feel good about being here. The clients are treated with respect and there’s comfort for clients in seeing the same faces over time. I love that clients can come as often as they want, and on the whole I think it’s a wonderful enterprise.”
What motivates you to have continued to volunteering for so many years?
“I just think so much of the program. Physically I can’t do a lot of stuff anymore, but I still volunteer where I can, like in the office greeting people and answering phones. And I donate, of course. It also helps that I made a few close friends volunteering for MOM, and we were all active with the program for many years. I think it’s a special program, and I always will.”
If someone asked you whether they should volunteer for MOM, what would you say to them?
“I’d say absolutely! I’m always trying to encourage people to volunteer. It’s so rewarding for me because I like working with the people. I like meeting them and talking with them. It really is a community thing. When people say they go to Goodwill, I say, ‘You know, you should go to MOM. Anything you donate, they give away for free to people who need it.’ I just can’t say enough good stuff about MOM.”
MOM is always looking for more volunteers! Visit MOM's website to see current volunteer opportunities.
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