Monday, February 14, 2011

Volunteer Profile: Tiffany Kudravetz

Name of volunteer: Tiffany Kudravetz

Position with CVN: Chairperson

Hometown, State and/or country: Virginia Beach, VA

What first drew you to CVN? I really wanted to get involved in the local community and to make new friends. I volunteered with a few groups on and off, but didn't really find a match. With CVN, it took a little time but once I started coming to meet-ups and volunteering regularly, I was seeing the same friendly faces over and over again. There's a huge comfort level in the fact that CVN welcomes everyone equally, whether you want to volunteer once a year or once a month. Now, I appreciate the fact that I can volunteer with friends and that every meet-up or event brings new people our way.

Why do you think it's important to volunteer? Volunteering gives you a sense of connection to the community, especially when you're helping out so close to home. It also feels good to know that you are helping someone out without asking anything in return. We should all "pay it forward."

How do you balance volunteering with work, etc.? Sometime it's an interesting balancing act! I do a lot of the administrative-type work really late at night or during my lunch break. However, volunteering itself is a lot of fun and it's worth making a priority.

Though a community is made up of MANY needs, what three causes are you most drawn to volunteer with? I am a strong advocate of education and literacy in general. Also, I really enjoy working with adults and children with disabilities or special needs. Finally, I think there's great value in establishing one-on-one mentoring relationships with children and teens.

What's the name and website of an organization or non-profit you'd like others to know about, and in a sentence, what do they do? The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, Their mission says it all; LCNV and their volunteers "teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English in order to empower them to participate more fully and confidently in their communities."

Throughout your life, what was the most memorable time you volunteered and why? When I was in law school, I was a Big Sister to a second-grader named Ali. At least once a week, I went to the elementary school to have lunch with her, go to recess, and then help her with classwork during their quiet time. It was a ton of fun and the atmosphere was such a contrast to how I spent most of my time. We played kickball, we traded our lunches, we played in the dirt -- it was so carefree. Right from the start, when her classmates asked who I was, I said that I was "Ali's friend." And I really was! I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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