April is National Volunteer Month and each week we are highlighting a volunteer who has made an impact on Easterseals Crossroads and the individuals we serve. This week we talk to Michael Ferron Singleton. (post created by Tessa Barnard, Community Engagement Coordinator)
Name one fun fact you would like people to know about you. I am obsessed with turtles, I know way more about them than I should, and I have a 12-year-old red-eared slider that I have had since he was 4 weeks old.
How did you first hear about Easterseals Crossroads? I first learned about Easterseals Crossroads from my friend and fellow board member, Steve Stevens. I have done volunteer work with similar organizations in the past and he thought this would be a good fit for me and I completely agree!
How long have you been involved with Easterseals Crossroads? I have been involved for about a year and a half.
What are some of the activities that you help with while on the Advisory Board at Easterseals Crossroads? In addition to my role on the Advisory Board, I also serve on the Development Committee. This committee focuses on the long-term plan for Easterseals Crossroads’ ability to fund programs for our consumers. We do this through efforts such as (but not limited to) donor cultivation strategy and fundraiser/event planning like our recent Celebrate Ability event.
Name one thing that a consumer has taught you, or one thing that you have learned from your volunteer experience. In my role, I have not had much interaction with our consumers but one thing I have learned from my volunteer experience is that Easterseals Crossroads has a lot of amazing people with big hearts. I have definitely learned to be a lot more optimistic. The fact that one out of five of us has been affected by disability in one way or another does not worry me because I know that places like Easterseals Crossroads are ready with more services and support than one can imagine.
What advice would you give to someone who is a new volunteer? First, thank you. Second, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know, the better you can help us act to serve our consumers. No matter what your experience level or background is, we will have something meaningful for you to do. My first time touring the Willowbrook location, I was amazed going floor-by-floor and thinking “Wow, you do that too!” then later, after getting more involved thinking, “How do we do all of this?” It is thanks in part to our wonderful volunteers.
What has been the most memorable moment in your time volunteering? Why? It would definitely have to be shooting my first #CutTheDis video. After watching a few other videos, I decided to take a swing at the golf balls. Long story short, not only did I cut the “dis” I also sent golf balls flying as the rooms exploded with laughter. It was a great reminder that we can do important work and have a little fun.