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Each month, Alternatives For Girls’ Volunteer Department, highlights one volunteer who AFG staff recognize as being a dedicated and passionate volunteer. This month we spotlight Muriel Van Dyke, a committed and creative volunteer from AFG’s Outreach Department.
Before volunteering, Muriel worked as a social worker and recognized the importance of programs that provide others an opportunity to learn a new skill and launch them into the workforce. After learning about AFG’s social enterprise program, Sew Great Detroit, she recognized the program’s value in the community and knew it would be a good fit for her to volunteer her time with. Since becoming a volunteer two years ago, Muriel has provided a wealth of knowledge and guidance to AFG’s participants and the growing Sew Great Detroit program.
In Muriel’s kitchen is a sign that says, “Rise by lifting others.” This is a phrase that Muriel lives by and incorporates into her volunteer work. “My goal as a volunteer is to ‘lift up’ the participants in Sew Great Detroit so that they can not only feel good about themselves but also begin to affirm others in their life – especially family members”. In doing this, Muriel hopes that she can inspire participants to have a positive outlook on their future.
Muriel’s greatest strength as a volunteer is her ability to recognize the potential in each and every one of the women that she has worked with. Muriel says, “I try to pass on a ‘can do’ attitude –with women who sometimes haven’t had a sense of worth or self-esteem– that gives them that belief. To see their smiles of satisfaction when they have successfully learned a new skill – and then have the confidence to move on to the next – is priceless.”
As a veteran volunteer, Muriel is continuously inspired by participants and their accomplishments and grateful for the relationships she has formed with the other Sew Great Detroit volunteers.
Thank you, Muriel, for your continued dedication towards AFG’s mission!
Interested in volunteering? Please contact Jenny Clement, Volunteer Services Manager, at 313-361-4000 x248 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the next steps to becoming a volunteer at Alternatives For Girls!