Kayla discovers Durham through volunteering

Kayla is a 24-year-old transplant from Honolulu, Hawaii, who came to Durham, North Carolina, to study physical therapy at Duke University. In school, she enjoys learning about the human brain and how it influences body movement, but in her spare time she also enjoys dancing and going to different community events in the Triangle. But she didn’t always feel this way.

When Kayla first moved to Durham, she felt like an outsider—disconnected from the community and unfamiliar with the area, culture, and city history. After a few weeks in the area, she decided to become more involved in the community to establish her connection to Durham and discover what it had to offer. After perusing a handful of nonprofits online, she found A Helping Hand. Kayla had previous experience working with older adults, and as a future health care clinician, she knew the value and significance of this kind of work. She immediately felt compelled to get involved.

Since becoming a volunteer at AHH, Kayla has met many people from different walks of life throughout the Triangle. By serving her clients, she gets the chance to hear their life stories and discover what brings meaning to their life. Doing community service always makes you feel good, but Kayla finds a more profound value—her interactions with her clients ground her in the community, connect her to people, and bring meaning to her own life.

Kayla has also been an amazing advocate for AHH. She’s recommended our program to several friends who have become volunteers, too. Earlier this year, she created dozens of Valentine’s Day cards that we then distributed to clients in our charitable program. She also provides mobility training at our intern orientation each semester, passing on some of her PT knowledge and helping our interns assist mobility-impaired clients safely. On top of all that, Kayla is simply a great companion. Recently, Kayla drove one of her clients, Ms. A, to a crochet class. Ms. A called later that day to say how much she loved having Kayla help her—Kayla had fit right in to her crochet class and had assisted every member of the group!

Kayla has been the best we could ask for in a volunteer. Thank you, Kayla, for everything you do for AHH and your clients!

To donate in Kayla’s honor, click here! You can follow Kayla’s lead and connect to your community by signing up to volunteer.

We still have three weeks left until Giving Tuesday. That means we’ll be featuring three more of our incredible volunteers on the next several Tuesdays! In case you missed them, check out our previous volunteer features: Katarina, Shalini, and Zarin.

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