Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Rodgers

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By M. Main – Covenant House Volunteer Blogger

Theresa Rodgers is a long-standing volunteer who has been with Covenant House Alaska since they opened their doors. 

Originally from the Northeast United States and currently a nurse with the Alaska Native Medical Center, Theresa moved to Alaska on a two-year work contract in 1986 and never left. Upon arrival, she quickly found a volunteer opportunity with Covenant House Alaska and introduced a good-natured dog to connect with residents.

Theresa’s attitude toward her volunteer work can be explained by her philosophy of “a little extra.” 

“A little extra is whatever people have to give,” said Rodgers, “time, money, fill in the blank.”

Aiming for extra

While the dogs Theresa has introduced have come and gone, her commitment to giving a little extra remains steadfast. 

Originally, Theresa saw an opportunity to help produce a volunteer newsletter, but more recently she has been in a supportive kitchen role. She says it keeps her feeling youthful and is quite rewarding. 

From washing dishes to filling fruit cups and baking all manner of tasty treats, no task is too big, small, or surprising, and Theresa enjoys them all.

To Theresa, this is her way of giving back to a community she loves. 

“I don’t have any kids, and I don’t want to be a taker my whole life,” said Theresa. “I’ve been very fortunate, and you can’t just keep everything.”

A helping paw

A particularly memorable moment came about almost by accident. 

Her dog Shamrock – able to make friends, play keep away, and be held by kids – was sitting on the floor with a resident. Theresa went over to ensure all was well and overheard the resident talking to the dog about a difficult life. 

“This was something only an animal could provide,” said Theresa, “the bridge.”

Volunteer today!

Theresa claims one of the biggest hurdles faced at Covenant House Alaska is an acute shortage of volunteers. She encourages those considering the opportunity to look at it as just that: an opportunity. 

“It’s a chance to be fulfilled, to do something meaningful,” said Theresa. “This is not time-filling work, but something more. Covenant House Alaska needs you no matter how much time or skill you may have. There is a place for you no matter what.”

If you would like to find a way to volunteer at Covenant House Alaska, visit the Volunteer page on our website here or contact Volunteer Coordinator Holly Payne at volunteer@covenanthouseak.org or (907) 339-4261.

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