Volunteer Spotlight

Even with the threat of storms, BB&T’s Lighthouse Program volunteers light the way

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Clouds filled the sky and the moisture from the impending storm could be felt in the air. Still, one-by-one, nine smiling volunteers from BB&T arrived at Senior Services, early on a recent Friday morning. They were eager to begin their day of volunteering to help beautify and improve the Senior Services facility through the 2019 BB&T Lighthouse project.

Each year BB&T tries to address community needs through their annual Lighthouse Project, which allows local nonprofit organizations to submit project proposals to help forward their missions. BB&T staff members volunteer to spend a workday bringing the wished-for projects to life. The North Carolina bank also covers all of the expenses related to the project. This marked the third straight year that Senior Services was the beneficiary to their outreach. Alena Qin, a BB&T Audit Services staffer and Lighthouse project manager said, “I think the BB&T Lighthouse Program is important as it gives BB&T associates a chance to provide something positive for those in need, as well as a way to contribute to our mission of making our communities a better place to live.”

BB&T team members are allowed to choose the project submission that strikes closest to their hearts. For Qin and eight others from the audit department, Senior Services hit the mark. “I was very close to my grandma growing up. She is the nicest person in the world and gave me ‘forever love”, care and a lot more. Making connections with seniors comes from my core. When I saw Senior Services in the BB&T wish list, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of it! It’s also a great honor to lead this project,” Qin said.

Senior Services’ wish list included planting flowers outside of the main entrance, building clean up, as well as, a request to print and hang 30 large photographs of Senior Services participants and volunteers in several meeting rooms and hallways across the building. This was far from a vanity project, however. The spaces that the BB&T volunteers worked on are used to meet with corporate partners, volunteers, donors and a variety of interested parties who help to further Senior Services’ mission of helping older adults remain at home, living with dignity and aging with purpose. “The pictures will serve as constant reminders to everyone who comes to our building of why we’re here, what we do, and most importantly, who we’re doing it for,” said Joel McIver, director of communication and engagement.

The team finished planting several beds of flowers just minutes before the rain started. Then they split into groups to hang the pictures, clean and organize and they even completed two Meals-on-Wheels routes. The volunteer team seemed to get as much out of their volunteer experience as the organization got from them. Margarita Migmatullina, a BB&T staffer and member of the Lighthouse team said,“I felt I was able to make a positive impact in our community by getting involved with Senior Services. I truly enjoyed helping deliver hot meals to homebound seniors, as well as planting various flowers outside to help the Senior Services campus have an even more home-like atmosphere. I truly believe that getting engaged with Senior Services helped me discover a new sense of purpose within our community. I will certainly come back as a volunteer! Thank you, Senior Services!”

The Senior Services building has been abuzz about the new additions of beautiful flowers and heartwarming photographs. Staff and visitors alike have commented on the value they bring the facility. Senior Services is grateful for the support it receives from BB&T through its Lighthouse Program and hopes to partner with them in the future.

If your business, religious or social group is interested in making a positive impact on the lives of older adults volunteer with Senior Services. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful feeling you get!


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