Volunteer Of The Week: Michelle Coccaro believes volunteerism is fuel that keeps organizations running

Published 9:31 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

Our Volunteer of the Week this week is Michelle Coccaro. She is a former clinic manager at River Region. She is currently a homemaker and grandmother of three. Before moving to Vicksburg in 2005 she lived in Anguilla, where she led the Sharkey Issaquena Academy (SIA) Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO). 

How did your volunteering begin?

My volunteering began in Rolling Fork as president of the SIA Booster Club and has continued after moving to Vicksburg. 

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What organizations are you volunteering with now and how long have you been volunteering with them?

Currently, I am volunteering with the annual Reindeer Run 5K, which has raised nearly $135,000 over the past five years for Paws Rescue. I also volunteer with the Miss Mississippi organization, where I have previously served several years as dressing room chair, and I have served as a hostess for the last four years.

What is one of your favorite memories while volunteering?

I can’t single out a specific favorite memory, but most important to me are the friendships I have made and the feeling of helping the organizations with which I have volunteered. It’s very satisfying knowing that you have helped an organization in need. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Find an organization that means something to you and reach out to them.  Help is always needed. 

What are some of the tasks you perform while volunteering?

With the Reindeer Run, all the volunteers help get sponsorship money for the race, but my main job is the race shirt, which is provided to race participants and sponsors. I work with getting sponsors for the new logo each year, for their recognition on the back of the shirt, as well as taking care of ordering the shirts. 

What have you learned from volunteering?

Every organization needs help in some way. You also build lasting friendships with like-minded people you might not otherwise get the opportunity to meet. Volunteering can be a full-time job, but many organizations would not survive without volunteers. 

How can someone interested in volunteering get involved?

Contact any of the Reindeer Run volunteers. We always need help. Miss Mississippi is the same way. Reach out to current volunteers you might know. These two events would not happen without the many volunteers who give their time to put on these events. 

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.