Thankful Thursday-From volunteering to getting paid

Services for Real Estate Pros with Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance

picOn this 24th of September I am very thankful that I started volunteering about a month ago. I had been looking for something I could do to give back. An e-mail from my church started this whole new life for me. You never know when God has an new opportunity around the corner for you. I started out volunteering there about a month or so ago helping out with shipments of sneakers. Shoes were donated and we had to relace them and box them up to be shipped out.

The staff includes the founder Rev Ron Davidson(pic right) and 8 full time employees(names below) and one temporary gal at the front desk as you walk in. I don't know her last name but her first name is Jamie. They are a Christian based organization that ships medical supplies, shoes, teddy bears, furniture, food, blankets and so much more.


Jeane Smiley-Mason
Vice President of Operations

Linda Meadows

Ismael LaBiosa

Lucky Billings
Product Placement

Chris Riddick
Product Procurement Manager

Mark O’Brien
Warehouse Manager

Steve Bryant

Mandy Wood
Volunteer Coordinator

It quickly became more than just a one time volunteering gig. I came probably 5 to 6 times after the first time and then on the 14 of this month when I had come to volunteer in the morning. I was talking to the volunteer coordinator Mandy Wood about how much I enjoyed it there and would like to help out more but I didn't have the extra gas money to do more than I was doing.

Probably about an hour later she came back to the table where I was working on shoes and told me that they had gotten behind on medical supplies and they could hire me on a temporary basis(one week)possibly more. So I started on the afternoon of the 14th and this is my second week. They have 2 tractor trailers loads of just medical(40 pallets) which needed to be sorted and packed into individuals categories to be shipped all over the world.

The first week I worked on shoes, then teddy bears and then Thursday of last week I started sorting medical supplies of all kinds to be shipped to different locations.  That is what I have done all week. I have gone in on Monday from 9-5 and then the rest of the week 8-5. By the time I get home at night I am bushed. My body is not liking me much but I can sit sometimes so that helps. I am loving it a lot and the people are wonderful. The day goes by very quickly. I don't know for sure if I will be working another week or not but even if I'm not I will be there volunteering because I wouldn't have had this opportunity and the extra money I have gotten if they didn't give me the opportunity that they have. <BIG SMILE>

I definitely have some extra money for gas now and that was the only thing holding me back before. So part of what I earn will go back into more volunteering when they don't need me for paid work. They have a pretty large base of volunteers. I even found out that people can volunteer and do community service if they get caught speeding and don't want to get a mark on their license. A good thing to remember in case I go over the speed limit <SMILE> but I think I will be smarter and have that money to put in the gas tank instead of giving it to the state of VA.

Today and yesterday have been a whirlwind of activity as we have responded to the flood victims in GA and have already sent blankets, water and food and maybe other stuff that I am not aware of.

I have worked with lots of different volunteers as well as a few of the staff. I have worked with the following staff:

Jeane Smiley-Mason
Vice President of Operations

Steve Bryant

Mandy Wood
Volunteer Coordinator

picWhile I like everyone immensely and each one is very nice and have welcomed me warmly I am partial to Mandy, a bubbly energetic 25 yr old gal with a heart of gold, a real sweetness about her, a real innocence, as well as a love of the Lord. I worked with her first, as she is the volunteer coordinator so she was really my first contact with any of the staff. I pick on her because of having those puppy dog eyes that I can't say NO to. She has that mastered.

Before I started working and just volunteering and she would be short volunteers she would look at me with those puppy dog eyes and ask if I could help more. I just couldn't say NO. All the staff adore her as I do as well and she is a lot of FUN. They pick on her and I can't help but laugh and then she gives me another look. I am learning all her Mandy "LOOKS". 

So on this Thursday I am most thankful for Mandy Wood and all the other staff for being such a wonderful people who have brought so much to my life in such a short period of time. I get extra tired and the body hurts more but it is a good tired and my body would hurt anyways so it might as well hurt for a good cause. It is interesting cause Rev Ron started this organization the same year I hurt my back which was 11 yrs ago.

One down side is I haven't been able to visit my Active Rain friends as much cause I am trying to keep up the housework and my other job as a marketing asst/virtual assistant plus visiting Mom once a week. I miss everybody but I will touch base as often as I can while I am working which might be another week. I hope you all forgive me for missing some of your posts.  Sincerely Sharon Lee <warm smiles>

Posted by

Sharon Lee

Comments (35)

Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Sharon, now this is wonderful! It is amazing how things just have a life of their own, taking us to wonderful places. This work is just so very important, please do keep it up! What a great thing you are doing, there is no better feeling than helping people, at least in my mind.

Sep 27, 2009 02:56 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Andrea-It sure is and even after they just need me for volunteering that will be fine as I love it and the feeling of giving back is wonderful. Nice to see your smiling face my friend. Miss ya lots. Hope you are doing better. Have a great week. <SMILE>

Sep 27, 2009 12:32 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

This is a great post Sharon.  Good for you1

Sep 27, 2009 02:53 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Thank you Susan-I am enjoying it immensely. I am grateful to God for this opportunity to give back. Have a wonderful week. <SMILE>

Sep 27, 2009 10:25 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Sharon, Good For YOU! I volunteer in many capacities here in Austin and always enjoy stories about fellow Rainer's helping in their communities!

Sep 29, 2009 10:39 PM
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,


Hi Sharon:

Haven't seen any posts from you in a while. 

Glad to hear from you today...

Stay well my busy friend!!!

Oct 04, 2009 03:01 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Sharon, This sounds like a win win for all involved.  I'm glad you found a way to pay for the extra gas and still be able to help.

Oct 04, 2009 03:26 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Russell, Toula and Marchel-I appreciate your comments. These past several weeks have been wonderful but tiring and I haven't had anytime in the rain. For some reason the comments didn't show up so I apologize for not catching them before now. Have a great week. <SMILE>

Oct 04, 2009 10:47 PM
C. Bartch
Newark, OH

Hey Miss Sharon, whew! It sure sounds like you've been super busy, I'd be real tried too after all that. Nice to know you've found volunteering so full-filling in your life. I'm sure you are a wonderful asset to the church. I know the flood victims here in Ga sure do appreciate the work you've put in.

By the way I haven't been recieving my notifications either.

Oct 05, 2009 09:16 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Cynthia-Nice to see your smiling face. I actually work in a warehouse but the fellow that started it was a Rev but now devotes all his time to this. It is a wonderful operation and supplies go all over the world. Medical, blankets, shoes etc. It is very rewarding. I think we will be working til the end of October. We just started working on 27 pallets of OTC assorted goods. It was fun standing outside Sam's. a couple of weeks ago. We got at least 10 pallets of stuff just from a Friday evening and Saturday and they had send out 3 or 4 tractor trailer load of water,, blankets and food before that. On the notifications I received yours and Toula's but not Russell's and Marchel's. Weird I'd say. I hope you had a great day and have a wonderful week. <SMILE>

Oct 05, 2009 09:54 AM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Glad to know you are still working and enjoying yourself!  Have a wonderful week, Sharon

Oct 05, 2009 10:57 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Mary-I am enjoying it immensely. These next 2 weeks we will be working on sorting thru 27 pallets worth of OTC items. I have missed you. Hope everything is wonderful in your world. Have a great week my friend. <SMILE>

Oct 05, 2009 02:13 PM
Debi Boucher
Real Estate Showcase Photography - Woodland Park, CO
"Realtor Showcase" - Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours

Sharon! How wonderful for you! You just never know when a terrific opportunity will knock on your door - I so happy for you that this one DID. And for such a good cause as well. I am happy for you, my friend!


Oct 07, 2009 02:38 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Thank you Debi-I am loving it but I know I am OLD cause I am worn out by the end of the day. Have a super weekend and thank you for stopping by. <SMILE>

Oct 09, 2009 11:19 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

While I have missed you, I'm happy you've been working full time.  You sound busy busy busy with two jobs, keeping house and your mom.  Now I'm off to wish Gary a Happy Birthday.  Hope to see you soon.

Oct 10, 2009 05:05 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Tammy-I just got home from taking care of my bosses animals since Weds. Thank you for stopping by. Miss ya, <SMILE> I know Gary will appreciate the wishes.

Oct 10, 2009 05:20 PM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

What an adorable post - its amazing how God opens doors - and what a nice write up of the cause, the people you work with ...esp mandy!.........and of course your 'heart' :-)  Look at all the comments you have - quite the following my girl! :-)

tammy happy birthday to Gary ? which Gary? Gary Woltal?

Oct 11, 2009 08:59 AM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Hi Liz-Thank you so much. I am loving it. Now if I can just keep it up with the back and lack of sleep I will have it made. YOU my friend are a wonderful inspiration to me and so many others. I look forward to the day I can meet you in person. <SMILE>

P.S. It is indeed Gary Woltal's birthday. <SMILE>

Oct 11, 2009 09:17 AM
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

I was wondering how your health was holding up, under the stress of more hours, but I know sometimes when we think about others, it takes out mind off of our own issues and eases some pain.  Sounds like you are enjoying your work and new friends!

Oct 14, 2009 05:02 PM
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Good Morning Cheryl-The back isn't liking me, especially this morning but I have done my VA job with lots of sitting and I have endured so this is decent money but more importantly I am enjoying it immensely. I do get really tired and zero time for myself other than work but otherwise than that I am good. I do miss everybody though. Great to see you my friend. I really do love your new pic. Have a great Thursday. <SMILE>

Oct 14, 2009 10:25 PM