VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Ashton Hotard gives her time to Good Shepherd
Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2023
This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Ashton Hotard, who volunteers at the Good Shepherd Community Center with the Junior Auxiliary. Hotard is a certified speech-language pathologist and the owner of Jubilee Therapy.
Hotard grew up in Southlake, Texas. She then received her BA in Communicative Disorders from The University of Mississippi and a Masters of Speech-Language Pathology from The University of South Alabama. Hotard has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 11 years and has experience in both geriatrics and pediatrics.
She moved to Vicksburg in 2017. She has a passion for helping children and noticed a need in Vicksburg and surrounding areas. Hotard opened Jubilee Therapy in the fall of 2018.
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Her business has grown from a single office, originally on Belmont Street, to a larger multi-therapist space now located on South Frontage Road. She is happily married to her husband Pete and they have a 6-year-old daughter, Colette, and a 2-year-old son, Nolan. In her not-so-spare time, Hotard loves to travel, cook and spend time with family in Oxford watching the Rebels play.
How did you start volunteering at Good Shepherd?
I started working at Good Shepherd with Junior Auxiliary. I love working with children, so I knew I needed to be on the project with JAV Cares, which services Good Shepherd.
What is your favorite memory while volunteering with Good Shepherd?
There are so many. I truly love celebrating holidays with the children. Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving; seeing their faces light up when the Easter Bunny or Santa comes in or when they line up for the Mardi Gras parade in the hallway. I always look forward to the hugs I receive from the children.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
Volunteering is the most rewarding activity. I love giving my time and compassion to these children and the staff at Good Shepherd. As a volunteer, you can use your time and talents in many ways at Good Shepherd.
What are some of your volunteer tasks at Good Shepherd?
I love reading to children, so our monthly or bimonthly book readings with a craft are so much fun. Sharing the love of reading is very rewarding.
What have you learned from volunteering at Good Shepherd?
I have learned that in giving, you receive so much more than receiving.
Any additional comments?
Good Shepherd has grown and blossomed since I have been volunteering there for the past four years. The staff is wonderful and has been a huge part of the success of the program. I primarily work with the childcare program, but there are many other programs that go on at Good Shepherd. I love seeing how not only the child but the whole family benefits from attending Good Shepherd.
If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to email@example.com.