Employee Spotlight: Dedra Russell

Meet Dedra, just one story  of the hundreds of individuals who give of their time, talents, and effort to make a difference in the lives of so many:

When did you begin working with Volunteers of America and what is your role?

I began working as a Shift Monitor for Volunteers of America in March of 1993 after graduating from the VOA Options program in 1991.  Over the years,  I’ve held the positions of: Shift Monitor, Childcare Teacher, Children’s Services Coordinator, AOD Counselor, Case Manager, and presently Program Manager.

What has inspired you to share your time & talent with us?

What continues to inspire me is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and provide unbiased compassion to those who have been lost without direction.  My heart has been invested in Volunteers of America as long as I can remember.  It is a true opportunity to be able to witness and be a part of reunifying families who dream is to become independent and living life with value and purpose.

Q: Have you (and your family) been personally impacted by your experience with VOA? If so, how?

There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not forever grateful for being a part of Volunteers of America.  I was taken in and cared for when I thought all was lost.  And because of that each day I look forward to sharing the love that was given to me.

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

What motivates me has always been the children.  Providing a safe loving environment is only the half of it.  It saddens me to know the paths in which some of these little ones have had to walk.  It warms my inner being each day to see them growing, smiling and feeling. Their resilience is inspirational.

Q: In your opinion, what makes Volunteers of America different from other nonprofits?

God and our unconditional commitment to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Volunteers of America is an organization who employs a host of angels that have the ability to view those in need through a lens of compassion, caring, and understanding.

Q: What’s something people might not know about you?

I enjoy art and spend my free time drawing on canvas.