Volunteer of the Week: Emily Richardson believes no act of volunteerism is too small

Published 11:06 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

Our Volunteer of the Week is Emily Richardson. She was born and raised in Oxford and attended Ole Miss. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After graduation in 2015, Richardson moved to Vicksburg to teach at Bowmar Elementary School, where she has taught first grade for seven years. Now, she is a stay-at-home mom to her two-year-old daughter, Farris. Richardson and her husband Brian love living in Vicksburg and are excited to welcome a second little girl in March. 

How did your volunteering for the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg begin?

I was asked to join the Junior Auxiliary in 2021. It came at a perfect time, since it was my last year of teaching. I was so excited to have an opportunity to continue to help children in Warren County. 

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What is your favorite memory while volunteering for the Junior Auxiliary?

It’s hard to pick one specific memory, but my favorite experience has been going to the children’s shelter and forming bonds with the children during their time there. It’s rewarding and heartwarming when they see you walk in and get excited. Once, a girl who had been at the shelter for a few weeks said, “I have exciting news and have been waiting to tell you all week.” Her excitement to share something with me when I walked in is a perfect example of why I love volunteering and how it is so rewarding. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Go for it. Reach out to an organization that interests you, call our local daycares, schools, animal shelters and see how you can help and get involved. Volunteering can be a little intimidating at first, but it’s so rewarding. 

What are some of your tasks while volunteering with the Junior Auxiliary?

Currently, I am the chair of our project that partners with the Warren County Children’s Shelter. We visit the shelter every week to spend time with the kiddos. I coordinate members going to the shelter, assist in planning activities or games for the children, organize holiday parties for the children, and help address any needs the shelter has. This year we provided every child with a Halloween costume and fulfilled one child’s Christmas list. I also serve on the board as the recording secretary, helping to make decisions on how we can best serve the children of Warren County.

What have you learned from volunteering?

I have learned that there are so many needs in our community, and no act of volunteerism is too small. When it comes to children, small things are big things, such as having new shoes, school supplies, and basic hygiene items. I have also learned that volunteering means as much to you as the people you are helping. Helping others brings you a certain kind of joy that is so heartwarming. 

How can someone else who might be interested in volunteering with the Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg get involved?

There are so many needs in our community and opportunities to volunteer everywhere. If you are aware of a need in our community, you can always contact me or any JA member. Anyone interested in volunteering with children should reach out to daycares and the Warren County Children’s Shelter to see if they need volunteers or donations. No act is too small.

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