The difference one volunteer can make
It’s hard to quantify the impact a volunteer has on a nonprofit organization, but some try; according to Independent Sector (a nonprofit advocacy coalition), every volunteer hour is worth $23.07 to our community.
Ms. Filomena Dodios, Mena for short, has been coming in 5 days a week from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm since 2013. Conservative estimates indicate that, just by volunteering, Mena has given $150,000 worth of her time to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro! That doesn’t, of course, factor in the immeasurable impact that she has had on the lives and minds of youth attending the Inukai Family Club.
Connecting with youth through games and more
Ms. Mena is a member of the Multnomah County Foster Grandparent program, a national program connecting retirees with youth in the community to provide guidance and mentorship. Ms. Mena tries to “help the kids be profitable in their spare time, keep them active, and avoid bullying.”
Ms. Mena’s favorite place to help is the game room. She loves to play pool with youth. She admits, “I never knew how to play billiards, but because I wanted to help with the kids by not letting them get bored, I learned how to play. I also didn’t know how to play chess but I watched the kids play and started playing with them.” She loved learning because in her words, “it sharpened [her] mind.”
She has also left her footprint upon activities at the Club!
“In 2017, I found several coloring books, and I loved the pictures from the book, and thought the kids would like them. I asked the staff to copy the pictures, and I set all the pictures out on the game room table before the youth arrived. When they did, they were so excited and started coloring right then and there. We have continued that practice ever since.”