Volunteering is for Everybody
Doris has been volunteering for New Americans Initiative’s citizenship workshops since April and it has been great getting to know her. Doris started volunteering at our workshop in Hainesville, she came initially because one of her friends asked her to come and help out. Doris is a retired teacher and school principal who enjoys gardening in her free time. She started volunteering with us on a whim more or less and over the past few months she has become one of the most dedicated volunteers that we have.
At her first workshop Doris was very nervous about the filling out the forms, she didn’t want to make any mistakes that would hamper the application process. I reassured her that the application goes through several checks before it ever reaches United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), but she was still very nervous. I paired her up with someone who was more experienced to show her the ropes. At the end of the day she told me that she had a good time and that she would be interested in volunteering. Before leaving she pulled out her example N400 and asked me a few hanging questions about the form and then she headed out.
Doris came to our next workshop and she walked up to me and told me that she had been looking over the N400 last night and she had a few more questions for me. I gladly answered them for her and she sat down. I could tell that her confidence had grown immensely since the last workshop. During this workshop she even asked to be sent over more people! I was so encouraged to see such a marked change in Doris from the last workshop.
At our most recent workshop in Volo Doris was there once again. This time she stated asking me if she could have some materials to hand out about citizenship. She told me that she had never really thought about it before but that she had realized that almost everyone who does work for her at her house is Hispanic and that maybe they could use the information or knew someone who could. It is getting to know people like Doris that makes doing this job so rewarding.