Volunteer Spotlight: Gloria, loyal walker and friend

Walking Club volunteer, Gloria

We launched NEW’s Walking Club last year and one volunteer quickly became a club staple. Gloria Veney began walking last December after her pastor at First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist Church, across the street from NEW, encouraged his congregation to become involved with their neighbors. “I love walking and the company is really nice,” Gloria said.

Gloria is no stranger to helping others. She worked as a geriatric nurse for 43 years before retiring, and now helps about five older residents in her apartment building with errands, doctors’ appointments and help around their apartments. “I enjoy meeting people and helping them do whatever I can to make their day better,” she said.

NEW has enjoyed Gloria’s smile and dedication. “Everybody needs help from time to time,” she said. “And it’s nice to see a smile on someone’s face when you do something nice for them.”

Deloitte volunteers gardening at New Journeys II

Gloria has not been the only volunteer from First Rising Church. Jeanne Whitley and Addy Watson lead a gardening crew and planted beautiful flowers in front of 611 N Street. “The flowers really brighten up the building and in turn all the women who pass them as they come through our door,” said Executive Director Wanda Steptoe. “We are so grateful!”

We had so many groups come and volunteer with us: The Washington DC Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted a day of health. Junior League came and helped the women build their confidence. And a joint effort of volunteers from The Connecticut College Caring Camels one day and Deloitte on the company’s Impact Day planted

The Willing Workers

a garden for the women at New Journeys II. “My whole life I’ve had gardens,” said resident April who approached her case manager a few months ago about starting a garden at NJ II. Today, thanks to the volunteers, April is growing collard greens, bell peppers, rosemary, thyme, sage, cucumbers and tomatoes. “The Deloitte volunteers were excellent and we really appreciate it,” she said.

A group from BDO did some gardening for Rachael’s House, where they planted flowers lining the front walk. Also at Rachael’s House, a group from United Methodist Women brought lunch, song and prayer to the women.

Deloitte’s Impact Day also included two business chemistry workshops for the staff and the women. And the loyal Willing Workers spent a day with women encouraging them through workshops and speakers. It’s been another busy season of volunteers!

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It’s been a challenging time for all of us as we adjust our days, our budgets and our expectations to COVID-19. And now, add a city and country grasping for footing after the death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer and we all feel even more out of control, unstable, and concerned about the future. Here at NEW we know that one way we can process our own feelings is to think about the needs and feelings of others.

We need you. The women need you. Your community needs you. Now more than ever women and children in DC need a safe and stable place to live.