Elizabeth M. Forsyth Community Service Award recipient:
Susan’s first introduction to Miriam’s House was on June 1, 2005 when she attended the MH Annual Luncheon. Inspired by the testimonial of ‘Connie’, upon returning to work after luncheon, she logged onto MH website to check for volunteer opportunities and saw that help was needed with the Monday night Children’s Program. Susan shared, “from the first night, respect and appreciation for what I witnessed happening at M.H and an immediate love for M.H. residents, staff, and other volunteers made me look forward to returning each week. M.H. is the center of my attention with regards to community service. Seeing the positive change after only a few short weeks in children of all ages from diverse life experiences made me a believer in the M.H. program. Not to mention the pure joy that comes from seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of beautiful children and having the opportunity to be a child again by playing “pretend” games, or sliding down sliding boards or playing freeze tag or card games or board games or reading books (the list goes on and on). Miriam’s House is special and it makes me feel special to be a part of it.”
When asked why she continues to volunteer at Miriam’s House, Susan shared, “Family has been central to my life. I not only had loving, nurturing parents but also sets of maternal and paternal grandparents and aunts/uncles that were involved in and influencing my life on a daily basis. My best friends were and still are today, my cousins. I learned the joy that comes from reaching out to help others from watching my family and the way they not only gave to one another but the way they showed love and compassion to those outside of our family. I cannot imagine how hard life would be without a family support system and not having a place to call home. Because I had the best family support system possible, I am motivated to try to pass on a piece of that to the children I have the honor to meet and befriend on Monday nights. I am so thankful for Miriam’s House and its dedicated staff and other volunteers as I’ve seen the positive changes in every child I’ve met. I still remember the names of my first 3 ‘M.H. children’: Scottie, Skyler, and Brooklyn and think of them often as they must be in their teenage years now. Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun!”
Susan was born and raised in Appomattox County and continues to live there today with her husband of 27 years. She graduated from Radford University with majors in Mathematics and Statistics and a Computer Science minor and has worked as a System’s Analyst with Pacific Life for the past 17 years. We are so fortunate to have had Susan as a volunteer for the past 11 years and we are thrilled to present her with the Elizabeth Forsyth Community Service Award!