Yay! Time to celebrate our September Volunteer of the month – Ashley!
Ashley has generously given her time as a Children’s volunteer since June 2013. Over the last 16 months Ashley has consistently risen to meet the challenges and joys of being a Children’s volunteer. The kiddos know that when Ashley is volunteering she is available to play and provide whatever is needed.
Shannon Bauer (Outreach children’s counselor) recently caught up with Ashley to congratulate her and interview her.
With your busy schedule and all of the wonderful things you do, what made you decide to volunteer as a children’s volunteer at SPAN? As a peace studies student at Naropa University, SPAN had been on my radar for quite awhile due to its strong stance on equality and nonviolent social change. In addition, I recently spent a year living in Salida, CO where I worked at the local Boys & Girls Club. It was there that I truly fell in love with children – especially those who are underprivileged. They have such a strong yet extremely sensitive character. The whole experience left me with a desire to do more. After graduating, I had some extra time and I wanted to spend it giving back to my community. SPAN seemed like the wisest choice because it blended my passions – nonviolence, social change and amazing kiddos.
If you could have had one super hero power growing up, what would it have been? Is that the same one you would choose now? While growing up, I would have loved to be able to see in the future. This would have worked in a couple of different ways. I’m a very impatient person but much calmer if I know something is coming for sure. If I knew some events were/weren’t going to happen then I could have relaxed. Also, even though I have learned such valuable lessons on my path, I would have chosen to go left instead of right all those moons ago.
Today, I would absolutely love to talk to animals. I would apologize for the destruction and pain humans have caused them. I’d thank them for the countless lessons they have taught us, and also let them know I love them with all of my heart and will continue to do everything I can to make this world a better place for them and for us.
What do you like to do when you aren’t having a blast with the kids at SPAN? When I’m not at SPAN, I enjoy spending quality time with my adorable kitties along with my family and friends. I also take pleasure in spending time in nature – whether it’s just a walk to the neighborhood park, biking to work or going on a hike in the foothills.
What has been your best experience with the kids so far at SPAN? Shelter can be a pretty scary place for young children. There was a little girl staying there who was extremely reserved when I first met her. Her mom told us that she was very shy and probably wouldn’t play much. When I introduced myself to her, I knelt down beside her so we would be on the same level and used a very soft yet cheerful tone of voice. While I was preparing for group to start I would catch her peeking around corners watching me. So then I started a game with her where I would imitate her by hiding behind corners and peeking at her. She thought it was the best thing as she would run away laughing then a few minutes later would come back to start again. The game really burst her shell as she became my little shadow. We had a great time playing in group with the other kiddos and the other volunteers. The next time I went to shelter, she yelled my name and kids group! Sometimes a little play is all we need to reach another. Good for both her and me.
If you had to choose an ice cream that best represented you, what ice cream would you choose? Rocky Road – I’ve overcome many rocks on my life’s road but the paths in between have been filled with lots of sweetness.
We are so grateful to Ashley for being an awesome volunteer and friend. Your calm and playful presence is always appreciated. Thank you for all you do!