National Volunteer Month in April celebrates the impact volunteers have on our lives and encourages active volunteerism in generations to come. Today, we would like to highlight one of our own here at Markesman Group, our contracts manager - Charlene Polk.
Charlene has led a life of volunteerism, and fully believes in giving back to the community and non-profits. In every place she has lived, (she’s currently in her 32nd home - she thinks, she’s lost count after living in 15 different States and Countries) she has sought out areas she can devote her time to supporting those organizations who have had an impact in her life.
The following are examples of the areas that are close to her heart that she has been an active volunteer over the years: United Network for Organ Sharing, Donate South Carolina, and Tennessee Donor Services. In each role, Charlene was able to volunteer to continue raising awareness of the importance of organ donation, understanding donation, from living donation, Communities of Color and Religious Views, volunteering in celebrations and memorials.
Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports: Provides recreational opportunities for severely wounded, ill, and injured Veterans and their families. Additionally, they provide Veteran Human Service programs and services. The monthly program meets at a shooting range in Virginia Beach, where the air pump guns have been modified to the abilities of each Veteran for target practice. The WWAS works with the VA in Hampton to allow residence an opportunity to leave the VA and have socialization and participate in varies activities. Volunteers typically participate in the classroom assisting with dinners, games, and crafts. Supporting our Veterans has always been close to my heart.
Navy Marine Corp Relief Society (NMCRS): Provides, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States. Some of the specific areas Charlene was able to help service members were in qualifying for Quick Assist Loans (QAL) and Budget for Baby workshops. QALs are provided for active-duty members and includes free budget counseling and education to determine the amount of interest free financial assistance needed and a customized repayment plan. In addition to QALs, Charlene also provided financial planning for in free Budget for Baby workshops, helping to develop family budgets, tips on how to save money, and introduce other expectant Navy and Marine Corps parents.
I truly believe in the quote: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill
In volunteering, especially the Organ Donation Organizations, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone numerous times. While it is profoundly important to give of our time and talent, I feel I have gained so much more than I have been able give. Knowing that I am on the ground level, making an impact in the community and lives around me, has given me a sense of purpose I may not have ever been able to find. The people I have met have brought so much joy to my life, some in the moment, and some that reach out later to share that knowing there are so many people out there supporting them and helping in a turning point, means the world to me.
My intent in volunteering is to help, but the gifts I have received have been unparalleled.
We are a proud Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business
Official V3 Certified Company, and Certified Veterans at Work Business
2021 Inc. 5000 #291 Fastest Growing Private Company
Follow us on social media:
Lead. Inspire. Dare.