January HOPE Heroes
David & Motria - HOPE Volunteers
David is a New Jersey native and graduated from the NJ Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. After graduating, he worked for 40 years in the Engineering/Construction industry and later, moved to Florida in 2003 with his wife, Motria. After retiring, David began volunteering at Meals on Wheels in St. Petersburg and now volunteers in the Administrative Office at HOPE Family Services. David offers clerical support by assisting with spreadsheet and database entry.
Motria was born in Buffalo, NY and raised in northeast New Jersey by her parents who immigrated from Ukraine just before she was born. Motria did not speak any English until she attended Kindergarten and still remains close friends with a grade school peer. After completing her Bachelors and Masters degree from Rutgers University, she achieved a 40-year career as a clinical social worker and spent 25 of those years with the VA mental health system. Motria first got involved at HOPE Chest Thrift Store, where she continues to volunteer as a cashier twice weekly. She has also spent time volunteering at HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter, answering phone calls and helping the residents.
What have you learned while working at HOPE?
David: In addition to refreshing my data entry skills, I have learned a great deal about the realities of domestic violence and the variety of services HOPE offers.
Motria: I have learned how to run a cash register - not something I ever thought I would do! It's satisfying and fun interacting with many of the customers while raising money for the shelter. I have also learned a great deal about domestic violence issues and services.
What motivates you to work with HOPE?
David: I find it gratifying to take on some of the workload to help the hardworking staff at HOPE.
Motria: I am always learning so much new information about domestic violence. I suspected that there would be lots of other meaningful volunteering opportunities and I have not been disappointed.
What advice would you give to a future volunteer?
David: Try to be open to new experiences! Whatever your talents and interests, you may be surprised to learn how, where and when you can be of help.
Motria: Just do it! I never thought I would or could do many of the tasks I now am involved with while volunteering. I have met the nicest and kindest people through my volunteer activities.
Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.
David: Seeing Mt. Kilimanjaro at a distance, while on safari in Kenya.
Motria: Seeing newly-born lion cubs in Kenya.
What’s your pizza order?
David: Thin crust with sausage.
Motria: Thin crust with extra cheese.
We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission!