Volunteer Spotlight: Ava, Utah Program

Ava is a dedicated Utah drop off location volunteer! Her drop off location is a busy one, and she has an hour drive round trip to get to the warehouse. We often see her once a week! She always pulls up to the warehouse with the music cranked up, her dog in the passenger seat, and a hug and a smile for us.


Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m 65 years old and originally from West Palm Beach, FL. I have been in the insurance business for 40 years and have worked for the same employer 20 of those years. I have served for many years in various positions in my church.  I love serving others.  My Facebook intro says: To serve others and in some small way repay my Father in Heaven for all He is given me. I feel very blessed and feel it my duty to share my blessings with others.

Role at LHI:
I am a drop-off for people who donate to LHI. I normally drop off the items to the LHI warehouse once a month. As most of you know, though, November and December was a very busy month, so I made numerous trips to the warehouse, about every week. It was an amazing experience.

What is a typical day like for you?
t varies depending on when people have donations to drop off. I get a number of phone calls and texts, knocks on the door at various times of the day and night.  People are always so kind, friendly, and so very appreciative of the LHI cause. I even get hugs from many of the people!  That REALLY makes my day.

How did you become involved with LHI?
I get email updates from JustServe.  One day, I saw the word Lebanon and read what it was about. My grandparents were from Lebanon. I never knew my grandfather and only knew my grandmother for about 3 years when I was a teenager. I've tried for many years to tie my Lebanese family tree together.  It is a very frustrating endeavor but one I won't give up on. I felt like I needed to make humanitarian kits for the people of Lebanon. Who knows? Maybe some of those people are my blood relatives? When I called Traci to find out where to take the kits, she told me they didn't currently have a drop off place near where I live. I asked her what was involved. Ironically, my hairdresser lives very close to the warehouse so I drive down there often, so it was a given that I should volunteer to be a drop off location.

Most rewarding experience volunteering with LHI:
I cry easily, and I’ve done a lot of crying since serving with LHI. I think one of the most touching moments came when I went to an assistant living facility to pick up donations. This sweet, mature couple came out of their building pulling a cart loaded with donations. The people at the center had gotten together and made many kits to be sent to Lebanon. I just felt such an overwhelming gratitude for good people who, even though they could sit back in their older years and just enjoy life, were still giving of themselves to help people that they will never know.  I had to stop the car and just bawl!

What have you learned since volunteering with LHI? Has your perspective changed? 
Serving with LHI has opened my eyes even more to the goodness of people.  I knew there were good people doing good things.  I've seen it many times. And, I have been one of those people that has been blessed by the goodness of others. On three different times in my life, I've had needed a place to stay. I was a single mom who had left Florida and moved to Utah. Total strangers took me and my son in, helped me to find a job and a place to live. Although my situation does not compare to what the refugees are going through, I was homeless and needed help from others. One of my favorite scriptures is from Matthew 25:35 "For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye game me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in."