And last, but certainly not least we have our wisest VM30 AmeriCorps Member in Nora! Nora quit school in the 10th grade and worked as a waitress making just $0.50 an hour. Fast forward 20 years later and she was offered an opportunity by the State to pay for vocational training to become a nurse. “First I had to obtain my GED and after 6 months of tutoring I received my diploma. I then took an accelerated 2 year course in 1 year, graduated, and took my State Board exams, thus beginning my 41 year career as an LPN (licensed practitioner nurse. I recently retired on August 31st 2017.”
“My family is of course my greatest source of pride.” She’s a mother of three grown children ( 2 daughters, 1 son); 4 grandchildren (3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter) who refer to her as “Gagy.”
“Nine years ago, due to an unexpected life change I moved to the Eastern Shore, Maryland. During the first 5 years I moved a total of 6 times due to the cost of housing. Out of 3 of those places, I rented houses that were sitting empty and for sale. I was able to convince the homeowners to let me rent for a decreased amount. During that time I began to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. The first time was for Women Build Week. After that, I was hooked on volunteering with them.”
In 2012, Nora found out that she met the parameters of homeownership with Habitat for Humanity Choptank and was able to assist in the building of her own home! “I have been living there for 3 years.
Now, Nora is a full time AmeriCorps Member serving at the same Habitat for Humanity Choptank managing their volunteer program! When she’s not out and about recruiting or recognizing volunteer achievements you may find Nora in the kitchen whipping up some delectable treats! “I love to cook and even more so, love to feed people. I am no stranger to struggles in life, but always refuse to accept defeat!”
“I was approached by the Executive Director, Nancy Andrews and Program Manager, Pat Ingram at Habitat for Humanity Choptank with the idea of serving. I did some online research and decided to go forward with my retirement and pursue this opportunity to serve with an organization I believe very strongly about.
I knew I wanted to retire, but was hesitant for a couple of reasons, one being that I am not a sit around-do nothing person and the second was transitioning into a different financial category. I strongly believe that nothing happens by chance and the fact that Nancy and Pat had confidence in me was all the “push” I needed. At 66 years of age I desire to give back to my community and an organization that has given so much to me.”
During her service year Nora believes that she will develop new relationships and strengthen current friendships. “I hope to not only share some of my professional skills and knowledge, but also glean the same from those I come in contact with over the next 11 months. I look forward to developing more interpersonal skills and increasing my skills in the area of the “electronic world” as well as in public speaking.”
Nora wants folks to know that there are health benefits to giving back. “I hope to keep my mind active and positive, thereby making the impact I have in my community a positive one. With this idea in mind , I am certain that my positive attitude will generate confidence in my current and soon to be learned skills making me a more capable and useful person for those around me.”
“At this point in my life-my long term goal is to maintain a productive and healthy lifestyle, enjoy my family and friends and hopefully leave “my world” a little better than I found it.”
You can learn more about volunteer opportunities at Habitat for Humanity Choptank by visiting www.Habitat choptank.org