March Volunteers of the Month
Hayley Noel and Felicia Cleary
Ask Donna Cleary the best thing about being a grandmother, and her response includes, “It’s the chance to help my grandchildren become who they really are…” Two of Donna’s granddaughters, Hayley and Felicia, reflect those words, “Our loving grandmother taught us that helping others is so meaningful.”
For more than ten years, Donna, our Chapter’s Director of Development, has been a constant advocate, supporting our ALS families through fundraising initiatives, as well as a caring, compassionate ally throughout their ALS journey. Hayley and Felicia joined Donna in her mission when they were young girls, year after year volunteering at the Holiday Party for ALS families, many Walk to Defeat ALS events in Philadelphia, Hershey, and Berwick, and even holding Facebook fundraisers for the Chapter. From staffing the Team Captains’ Table and hanging banners at the Walks, to helping children create arts and crafts memories at the Holiday Party, they bring enthusiasm, creativity, and a willingness to contribute wherever needed.Today, these young women exemplify what our organization so urgently needs helping hands and helping hearts. Each bestows their life lessons to their volunteering efforts.
Hayley is the eldest of five siblings in her household, and the responsibility that comes with this role serves her well as she volunteers. Hayley exhibits many of the traits of oldest children Responsibility, confidence, and conscientiousness. And shopping is a passion. “There is always a package at my doorstep!” she laughs. Her skills, which are so important as she volunteers at setting up Walk decorations or creating fun crafts at the Holiday Party, will translate well into her career as a cosmetologist. Cosmetologists bring out the beauty in others. Hayley has achieved that for many years through her volunteering efforts.
Felicia is the eldest of three siblings and loves watching sports, going shopping (with her grandmother Donna), and adventures of all kinds. A college freshman, Felicia is on the path to becoming a radiation therapist. “This is the right job for me. I’ll be able to help people,” says Felicia, who embraces entering the medical field. While Donna is her “ALS connection,” Felicia’s volunteering prepared her well when her best friend Mia’s grandmother was diagnosed with the disease. Felicia already knew all about the iPad Mia’s grandmother used to communicate. Felicia is grateful that she has been able to volunteer at Chapter events because, as she states, “Yes, it can be sad to see people struggling with ALS, but I get to see how happy they are because of all the great work and fundraising the Association does.”
Cousins forever and friends for life.
It is so gratifying to have two exceptional young women honored as our March Volunteers of the Month. Hayley and Felicia have long seen how much their grandmother strives to bring awareness and hope to the ALS mission. They both echo each other’s words, “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to be working with such a great organization and such great people!”