Volunteer Story: Ginger Gruber

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Volunteer Story: Ginger Gruber

Hi, my name is Ginger. Let me tell you about my experience with Extreme Community Makeover. I first got involved with ECM about seven years ago with my church. Because I was a Spanish speaker, I was asked to help with surveying to identify projects. Each year when it was time to do an ECM volunteer day I would volunteer and because I knew Angela through a friend she kept asking me if I would like to join the Extreme Teams. Finally, after I retired from teaching I decided it to join the Survey Team.

As a member of the Survey Team, two weeks before the actual ECM Work Day, I get to go door to door through the designated blocks to ask the neighbors if they have an outside project that they could use help with. If we’re lucky enough get someone to answer the door, most people’s first response is “No” because they don’t believe such an offer as a group of volunteers helping them with something they’ve needed to do with their yard FOR FREE could be legitimate. It almost always takes some convincing but I don’t take “No” for an answer! I don’t think of myself as a sales person but I know that ECM is such a great service and I don’t want people to miss out on it.

From the beginning, I have been amazed at how our actual Work Days flow so smoothly. I call Angela the “Computer Brain”! So many people – volunteers, Extreme Teams members, neighbors, and so many projects at different venues – and every detail is carefully thought through and runs so smoothly. I have loved getting to work with the other Extreme Teams members and being part of the ECM “machine” that offers such a gift to neighbors.

Because I am retired I have at times offered to help Angela with some of the behind-the-scenes details that she needs to take care of between Work Days. One of those has been inputting responses to a survey that is filled out by each neighbor that was served on a given day. The responses to one particular survey question that asks the recipients to tell how they felt about the services they received has so reinforced my belief in ECM. A number of the neighbors that we help are older people who have lived in their homes for a long time and want to keep up with the outside appearance of their house but are unable to do so. Many of them express their gratitude for being helped with something that they could never have accomplished on their own because of health issues or because they don’t have anyone to help them. They say that their belief in the goodness of others has been renewed. I am so proud to be a member of the Extreme Teams!!

Ginger – ECM Survey Team


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