Our May Volunteer Spotlight is Charles – a long time CMC tutor who has continued his service remotely while we’re anxiously awaiting our return to the Center. Charles has been volunteering at CMC for so long now that he doesn’t even remember an exact starting date, although he’s sure it’s been over 10 years at this point.
“It seems like it’s always been a part of my life,” he said, “Maybe because I want it to be.”
Like many others, Charles began his journey with the Catherine McAuley Center after being introduced by someone close to him. In this case, it was his wife.
“My wife, Libby Slappey, was at one time on the CMC Board, and I knew if she was on the Board, it must be good,” he said, “She has a great sense for what is really worth supporting.”
Thankfully, she was right, and Charles has been a familiar face in our building ever since.
There are countless reasons that people feel compelled to volunteer at the Catherine McAuley Center. For Charles, it seems to be a combination of gratitude, the love of teaching, and a genuine desire to share his gifts and give back.
“I have been really lucky and blessed in my life, with a loving family, living in the country I was born in, not having to learn a new language to survive, not having to learn a new culture or take up a new livelihood. I’ve had a good education and spent many years at Collins Aerospace in a steady job with benefits. So I feel it’s my responsibility to give back to the community.”
This kind of well-rounded perspective and empathetic worldview is valuable anywhere and everywhere, and we especially appreciate seeing it in our volunteers. It was elaborated on even more as Charles discussed the highlights of his years of volunteering.
“The highlight would be when one of my students, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, became an American citizen. He would come in every Saturday for two hours, after working at a meatpacking job all week, in addition to raising three children. Who wouldn’t love a person like that, and want them to be a part of your country?”
Charles has also been ready to take his tutoring online for the time being while we’ve had to adapt and offer many of our services remotely. While it may not be the same as meeting in person, we’re thankful that Charles is still on board until that time comes.
“(I plan to continue tutoring remotely) as long as my students want it, and as long as it’s required. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a CMC tutor!”