Circular headshot of Ayuda volunteer Annie, seen smiling.
Annie (She/Her/Hers)
Hours Volunteered: 57

From bagging groceries for Ayuda clients to helping us keep the lights on with administrative support, volunteers are critical to our mission. We’re grateful to all volunteers, many of whom go above and beyond to donate their time. Today, we celebrate the incredible contributions from Annie.  

How did you first get involved with Ayuda?  

I believe I saw Ayuda’s volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch. I responded to the posting, and coordinated with Mr. Paul, Ayuda’s volunteer coordinator, about my availability. I don’t remember my first-time volunteering but I know it was doing supply intakes. 

What inspired you to volunteer?  

I just love helping out the community and doing the best that I can to help – especially for Ayuda. Also, I am an immigrant myself who was lucky to be adopted into a great community of people who helped raised me. They’ve helped me out in times of need, and now I want to help other people as well who need assistance…whether they’re an immigrant or not!  

Tell us a little about the different ways you have supported Ayuda as a volunteer. 

I’ve done some volunteering at Ayuda’s Welcome Breakfast like stuffing nametags, and welcoming people to the event, getting a headcount. I’ve also helped with diaper bank deliveries to Ayuda’s Silver Spring office, bringing up supplies and organizing the room. In the D.C. office, I’ve helped transport food and stocked the food pantry, as well as put together bags of groceries.  

I’ve even taken the metro to Ayuda’s Fairfax office to distribute school supplies, and pack backpacks for the kids. I got to meet and speak with some of Ayuda’s clients that day. 

What has been your favorite experience volunteering at Ayuda so far?  

I got to volunteer with Ayuda at a D.C. fair, handing out hand sanitizers and answering questions about Ayuda. I had a good time interacting with the community, because I’m a very outgoing person.  

What has been the most surprising thing about volunteering at Ayuda?  

The most surprising thing has been how much of an impact a small amount of volunteers and staff can make in short period of time. When I started volunteering, I realized how fast I could do stuff, how much experience I had. I can get almost everything done in a few hours, and it’s such a great feeling to make a difference in such a short time period. 

Do you have any advice for others interested in volunteering their time to support our immigrant neighbors? 

Don’t feel pressured to help out when you cannot. Stay true to yourself, and help out when you can. Embrace relationships with the people who support you and help you out – like Ayuda’s Volunteer Coordinator Mr. Paul, who’s been really great to work with. 

Do you have a special connection to the Ayuda Mission that you would like to share?  

I had a friend who passed away that served at Ayuda as a pro bono lawyer, Tess Ferrera. She played music with my dad and was very special to us. Tess was a brave person, she sang, and she gave out lots of hope and love to people. So I hope to help out as much as possible to honor her memory. I want our community to see that

Want to make a difference with Ayuda? Get started volunteering here!