“I just cannot say enough about how much volunteering has benefited me,” says RSVP Northern Virginia volunteer and engagement leader Sue Dussinger of Alexandria.
Sue began her RSVP experience in 2016 after volunteering at an information booth at the Fairfax Fall Festival with then-RSVP volunteer specialist Nadia Hoonan.
“It started me off knowing that I wanted to do more with RSVP,” Sue said of the experience. She also helped staff the same booth with current RSVP volunteer specialist Carly Hubicki at the 2017 festival.
“I think I can honestly say I have never regretted going on a single volunteer project.” Sue says. “That is a huge thing to be able to say,” she adds. “You meet the most wonderful people,” Sue Dussinger, RSVP volunteer and engagement leader.
Prior to joining RSVP Sue had more than a decade of volunteer work under her belt with Volunteer Fairfax’s Volunteers for Change program which she says she thoroughly enjoyed. RSVP Northern Virginia is a program of Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Arlington and Volunteer Alexandria.
“I get more benefit (from volunteering) than the people I’m helping,” she says. “If that sounds selfish well…but I know I’m helping people. It really helps you (as a volunteer) grow a little bit”
With RSVP Sue’s experiences have ranged from coordinating a monthly group service project at River Farm in Alexandria to helping out at the resume review room at the 50+ Expo in April. She is also a regular volunteer driver for Volunteer Solutions, another RSVP partner.
“Volunteering is a good way to keep social,” Sue says. “I have never in my life been a real ‘joiner’ but once you get into it (volunteering) you can’t stop. I love interacting with people.”
Sue, who after retiring in 2012 began working as a fitness specialist at a local health club, also points to the health benefits of being a senior volunteer. “You really need to stay active. You need to keep moving as seniors,” she says.
Sue became interested in becoming an RSVP engagement leader after working with Ken Kozloff at the 2017 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.
“I just liked the idea of helping to coordinate and to make it (the event) a good experience for the volunteers” she says.
Volunteer registration for the 2018 NVSO which runs Sept. 15 thru Sept. 26 has begun. Those interested in supporting this event should contact Carly at 703-403-5360.
Why does Sue recommend volunteering with RSVP?
“I have been involved with two RSVP volunteer coordinators (Nadia Hoonan and Carly Hubicki) and both are excellent. I think that is where it starts. “They seem to seek out opportunities for us and they are laid out beautifully in our newsletter so you get to choose. There will probably be something that will interest you. They (the volunteer specialists) look for different opportunities because they know we are different people.”
“I think I can honestly say I have never regretted going on a single volunteer project.” Sue says. “That is a huge thing to be able to say,” she adds. “You meet the most wonderful people.”