Volunteer Perspective: Lauren Dunoff
Hi, I’m Lauren, and I volunteer with the after-school program at Stewart Middle School in Norristown.
Like many people, I had been seeing on the news the dire situation that immigrant children were facing when entering our country, and I was wondering if there was some way to help. Then, I came across Project Libertad in a Facebook post looking for donations of art supplies for the program, so I checked it out. I decided that I would commit to volunteering, and even began to learn Spanish on Duolingo.
The program is extremely organized, so there is not work to do to prepare. The art and science projects have been the greatest way for me to connect with the kids. In the past, I have taught arts and crafts at camps and with my daughters’ activities. I love the enthusiasm that the kids have for creative projects. There are several who are talented, and I plan to talk to them more about the work I do as a graphic designer, and how they can be involved in the arts at their schools as they get older.
I have learned so much since beginning to volunteer, from Rachel, and also from the teachers and other volunteers that I met at Project Libertad. I have lived my whole life nearby to Norristown and was aware of the large immigrant community and wished to feel more connected. Project Libertad has done that for me. Knowing these children has been a blessing. Some are shy, and we are taking our time getting to know each other. I look forward to seeing their smiles every week! I am happy to be a welcoming face to them in our community - their new home.