DREW HEFFLEFINGER: THE ENJOYMENT OF VOLUNTEERING AT THE Y IS REALLY UPLIFTING
When YMCA member Drew Hefflefinger heard about an opportunity to help the community two years ago, he signed on with the Y to help in the produce distribution program. “I wanted to be involved in the community. When I saw Terri’s (Terri McGrew, YMCA volunteer coordinator) email about this volunteer opportunity that started when the pandemic hit, it seemed like a good fit for me.” Drew is a certified financial planner in Nashua and knew the needs of this program would fit in well with his busy professional life. “I like how it was a set schedule each week. That’s what drew me to this opportunity. It’s a good break in my work day. I renewed my commitment to the program once or twice,” he shared. Helping with food distribution involved picking up 15 cases of fresh produce from the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter and bringing them to various local distribution points, such as the Nashua YMCA and and the Nashua Farmer’s Exchange. Everyone at Nashua Soup Kitchen is phenomenal. I’ve enjoyed meeting everyone else I volunteered with along the way, like the other United Way volunteers,” he said. Drew was honored at this year’s annual meeting with a ‘community impact volunteer’ award along with 17 other volunteers for their work in fighting food insecurity.
Drew has recently joined the Y’s Investment & Endowment Committee. “I wanted to explore other areas of volunteering. I went back to the Y to see what volunteer opportunities were available. I wanted to leverage my skills as investment professional into a volunteer opportunity. When I heard the Y was looking for investment committee member, I met with Mike LaChance to learn more. It’s been great working with Mike, Cindy McNickle (CFO) and (Chair of the Board) Steve Lynn in overseeing the management of the Y’s endowment funds.”
Drew shared that he joined the Y five years ago to exercise. While he primarily works out at the Merrimack Branch, his engagement has gone much further. He feels good about his impact. “When I drove up to the Nashua Farmer’s Exchange or the Nashua Y with a carload of food to be brought into the gym for distribution, recipients were waiting for the food and they were eager to help unload. There was great appreciation.
“When I was looking to volunteer, it seemed obvious to me that looking to the Y was a great place to start. It’s a place I belong to. I’m there three days a week. I have clients who send their children to the Y and they appreciate the classes. I have clients that worked at the Y. It’s a great fit,” he said.
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