By Zachary Huey for The Island Connection
As a volunteer, a person can use old skills in new ways. For Sally Jones, her talents as a teacher have become a gift for adults as a volunteer. She grew up in Ohio, and spent her school years there. She moved to Chicago area with her husband where she taught primary age children for 27 years—14 years as a reading specialist. She recounts, “I have always been very interested in helping children learn to read, and discover their world through books.” In retirement her talents as a reading specialist took on a new life.
After retiring to Kiawah, Sally wanted to reach out to others, but she also wanted to change course and try to make a difference in an adult’s life. She heard about Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and reached out to see if she would be a good fit for the adult education program. Sally recalls her experience of getting involved, “I contacted Maria Gurovich, Volunteer Coordinator, and she suggested I attend their orientation. I met Pam Kusmider, the GED instructor, and she greeted me with ‘open arms’. She gave me the opportunity to make my own schedule, and work with individuals. I found this to be most rewarding.”
Through helping others, Sally has learned a great deal about adult education. She has learned, “There are many reasons adults have ‘fallen through the cracks’ of education during their school years, but they are very eager and want to learn. Some people will move on and succeed, and others will drop out of the program. However, I feel and hope that I made a difference in their lives, and whatever we accomplished will benefit them. I want them to see that learning is a lifelong experience.”
Sally makes an effort to encourage each student, and discuss their talents as well as what each can do to improve. She believes what really makes a positive impact in a person’s life is to show them love and acceptance and that they can succeed.
To a potential volunteer Sally would say, “If you are a person who may be on the fence about the commitment, Our Lady of Mercy will work with you and your schedule to meet your desires.”
Get involved with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and make a positive change in someone’s life! For more information on how to get involved with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach contact Maria Gurovich via phone 843.559.4109 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.