by Lucy Nelson, CalSERVES AmeriCorps VIP 2019 – 2020
Hi, my name is Lucy Nelson and I am an AmeriCorps member serving a term with the CalSERVES Volunteer Infrastructure Project (VIP) here at the California – Nevada Conference office.
I realized at a young age that I had a strong passion for helping others. Immediately after high school, I decided to begin a career in the healthcare sector, mainly in health administration. After 8 years of medical billing and coding, and while completing coursework to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Health Administration, my yearning to give back and to have a positive impact on the world around me grew stronger. I felt I could do be doing more to make a difference. Based on the history and unique benefits of the program, it was obvious that AmeriCorps was the right decision for me.
I am not the first to take a leap from career to volunteer and I am certainly not the last. AmeriCorps volunteers serve across the nation and come from various educational and professional backgrounds. We have all pledged to “get things done” for America!
Under the CalSERVES AmeriCorps VIP, the goal for my cohort members and myself is to build effective volunteer programs within a nonprofit organization. We work behind the scenes to build the framework that puts volunteers into action. Collaborating and learning from one another through regular team meetings, trainings and service days are some important aspects of the time spent as a VIP Fellow.
Here at CNUMC, I am focusing on strengthening volunteer management capacity for the Disaster Response Ministry. The impact of recent and previous California wildfires and other disasters has heightened my awareness of the importance of strengthening volunteer systems to better protect communities from naturally occurring and human-caused threats. A community’s ability to respond to or recover from a disaster depends on the level of preparedness of every member. We are in this together and I am excited to work side-by-side with staff and volunteers to increase both individual and community disaster resiliency!