Our volunteer of the month for March is Lydia Jackson! Lydia has been an extraordinary volunteer in the office at Inspiration Corporation since the middle of 2013. We asked her a few questions about her experience as a volunteer:

How did you hear about Inspiration Corporation?
I first heard about Inspiration Corporation serving as the registration lead for the Chicago Gospel Run where Inspiration Corporation participated as their charity partner. Shortly after the race I  began volunteering twice a week in the food pantry and development office, and also joined the committee for One Inspired Evening.
What is the most enjoyable part of volunteering for you?
The most enjoyable part of volunteering is meeting new and interesting people who share a genuine passion for the work of Inspiration Corporation.


Lydia at Inspiration Cafe where she recently volunteered with a group of friends for her birthday

What aspect of volunteering are you most excited about? What is the most challenging?
The most exciting aspect of my volunteer work is executing all the small details in preparation for the various events that take place. Whether it’s decorating food description cards for the Inspiration Corporation Holiday Party or securing silent auction items for fundraisers each project brings a new exciting challenge.

What is your volunteer background?
I was a member of T.H.R.E.A.D., a service-focused performing arts group that participated in a three week service trip to Ghana in West Africa. I have also served as a mentor to high school girls in the metro Atlanta area and currently direct programming for the Youth and Young Adult division of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses and volunteer with the Chicago Gospel Run.

Why do you volunteer?
A few months ago I found myself in between jobs. While interviewing for a new job I wanted to make sure I spent my time outside of the work place  doing something that would not only aid in my personal and professional growth but also make a difference in the community. After establishing new employment, I continue to volunteer because I believe in the mission and the vision of the Inspiration Corporation.

Describe one of the most interesting experiences you’ve had as a volunteer.
The most interesting experience I’ve had as a volunteer was organizing a Thanksgiving themed “Wreath of Thanks”. Inspiration Cafe participants wrote messages about what they are thankful for on fall colored leaves that were then decorated by students from Sacred Heart School in glitter pens, glitter glue and loose glitter. After the glitter covered leaves were dry, I assembled the wreath on the Expression of Thanks board. It was a beautiful display but it took a week to get rid of all the glitter.

What are your hobbies, besides volunteering?
I enjoy hot yoga, travel and brunch with my girlfriends from my book club.

What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
I have learned that wherever my professional life leads me, the most fulfilling opportunity I can have in life is to serve others.