Like many previous Why I Care award recipients, the idea of giving back and supporting others was instilled in Andrea from a young age. The holidays were a special time for her family, and she recalls one special tradition that taught her to understand what it felt like to help others. Each year her family would participate in Operation Christmas Child where they would fill shoeboxes with small toys, personal hygiene items, school supplies, and other gifts for children. The boxes were shipped all over the world to children in countries affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease. Although she didn’t realize the impact at the time, she knew how it made her feel to contribute to someone else’s happiness.
Since then, Andrea has continued to make a difference in the lives of others, volunteering for the American Heart Association, Albany Police Athletic League, and the South End Children’s Café. For her, volunteering has created a sense of community, exposing her to individuals who have different experiences, beliefs, and backgrounds, which has allowed her to gain a better understanding of all people.
For Andrea, her life’s purpose is simple: “To empower others and inspire them with my actions. To make positive connections with all those around me. To leave the world a better place.” And Andrea is doing just that.
"The sense of community that is created when you volunteer is a piece of why I continue to be involved. I have met and have been exposed to so many others from a variety of age groups, backgrounds, and beliefs. It is a great learning experience because you are widening your perspective and gaining a better understanding of different groups of people all of whom are sharing a similar purpose."
If these stories inspire you, nominate someone you know for SEFCU’s Why I Care award