“I was drawn to joining Action Wellness after speaking with a buddy while attending a Pride Event. Becoming a buddy seemed like a worthwhile thing to do and I have enjoyed engaging with my buddy. Our life experiences are quite different. However, we have come to appreciate and respect our differences and enjoy what we have in common.” -George C
“Volunteering for the Action Wellness Buddy program has been everything I expected and more! I started as a way to give back to folks who may be in the same position my husband was back in the 1990s, but the clients and fellow Buddy’s I’ve met along the way have really taught me great lessons I wouldn’t have learned without the program.
“Volunteering makes me feel useful and gives more self-respect.”–Cliff H
“I joined Action Wellness when I was still a graduate student. Through Action Wellness, I met many incredible individuals, and our monthly meetings became one of the highlights of my involvement. The organization carries a great spirit and energy, which expresses itself in everything it does. I especially enjoyed meeting and assisting my client, whom I’ve been with for four years, as we recently celebrated together. I appreciate Action Wellness giving me this opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with another human being. I signed up so I could be someone providing support to a person in need, but now looking back, I think I benefited from this relationship nearly as much as my client. Action Wellness’s yearly Dining Out for Life event is also great fun. I had the honor to be an ambassador before the pandemic, and it was very enjoyable. Being a volunteer at Action Wellness is truly a unique and inspiring experience.”-Yi-An K
“David started volunteering at Action Wellness because he wanted to learn more about and get to know people suffering from chronic conditions, as well as the other volunteers. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the organization and has developed a good rapport with his Buddy,
who he has been with for the entire 5 years.”– Dave N
“My motivation for volunteering comes from my desire to give back to Action Wellness for the service they have provided for many years. I have had close friends who are no longer with us who have been helped and I am witnessing first hand. No one should feel alone in their struggle, and deserve a shoulder, a hand, an ear or hug.”–Wayne W
“I started volunteering with Action Wellness (formerly ActionAIDS) over ten years ago. At the time I expected to volunteer for a couple years and contribute to my community and a cause I’m very passionate about–support for the often unsupported HIV/AIDS community. What I did not predict was everything I would get from organization. Over the years, I found numerous friends and support through the ups and downs of my life’s journey. Former Director of Volunteers, Ron Hoskins, current Director, Emory (Jay) Johnson, and teammates, Tracy, Denis, Ian (just to name a few), have been there for support, encouragement, and laughter more times than I can remember.
I will always be grateful.”-Shaun D
“The volunteer opportunities at Action Wellness have allowed me to meet other individuals with a similar passion to help those in our community. The years of service with the agency have been filled with amazing experiences, and I look forward to many more to come.”-Christopher M
“Thank you for the opportunity to be a volunteer for my extended family at Action Wellness. I am honored and humbled by the experiences I’ve had at Action Wellness. There’s a calling on my life by God to serve and help my community and when I reached out to the organization, Ron Hoskins welcomed me with open arms and Jay Johnson trained me to be the best buddy I could be for Action Wellness. One great memory I have is the bright smile that I would see on my buddy’s face when I would greet him for lunch down town in Philadelphia. It was priceless! It’s with me in my heart and motivates me to continue to help,
serve and be an asset to Action Wellness. Thank you!”– Brian M
“Ms. P as I’m affectionately called by students enjoys volunteering I’ve been supporting Action Wellness since the days of the Philadelphia Task Force I love helping others. AW is a phenomenal organization to work/volunteer with I plan to be here for years to come ❤️”-Paulette P
“Thanks to ActionAids/Action Wellness I am who I am today–a productive member of society. Special thanks to a very dear friend who has long been gone but never forgotten, Miss Pat Fitzgerald.”-John R
“Being a volunteer at Action Wellness allows me to share my knowledge with others. It is an honor and pleasure being a part of this wonderful organization from a professional standpoint when I worked as a HIV community home care nurse to being a volunteer educator. AW allows me to share my knowledge as well as being able to be connected with the HIV community.”-Tom S
“I initially became a buddy volunteer at Action Wellness (formerly ActionAIDS) because I always had an interest in serving individuals who were affected by HIV/AIDS. I continued to serve as a Buddy volunteer even after the agency decided to re brand itself and expand its services to anyone suffering from chronic illness, because while volunteering, I saw that many of the clients were suffering from other ailments aside from HIV/AIDS that affected both their mental and physical state. Working as a medical social worker, I understand that both medical treatment and emotional support are needed for a positive outcome. I look forward to continuing my work with Action Wellness and am very grateful for the experience thus far.”-Whitney S
“My volunteer experience with Action Wellness has been phenomenal. I like being a beacon of light to people needing care, love, friendship and assistance when needed. The companionship that Action Wellness have for the community, consumers, and staff is what drew me to be a part of the agency. It’s in my DNA to give back and serve others. Love is the only ingredient that will change lives and make it better for God’s people who were created in His image. Action Wellness is a great team to work with. Together Everyone Achieve More!” – Michael D
“I volunteer at Action Wellness because its core value of ensuring that no one face HIV or any other chronic illness alone aligns with my professional values as a social worker and the personal values that I hold from both my family upbringing and my spiritual training. Volunteering here allows me to surround myself with others who share those values; and that provides me with a powerful sense of community – that is so vital when we are facing such large and overbearing health and social justice issues.
Volunteering here also allows me to utilize my skills and talents to serve others in a meaningful way. It exposes me to others who have different life experiences – which, in turn, expands my thinking.
Ultimately, I volunteer at Action Wellness because – while the focus is always on the wellness and support of the clients – the sense of common purpose provides me with my own sense of being a part of something larger than all of us: health, wellness, and healing.
Oh, yeah, it’s also a lot of fun!” – Tony M
“Love brought me to Action Wellness. I wanted to honor my cousin Chris’s memory in a unique and fun way. Action Wellness and family have definitely helped me do this, continually and successfully. I have grown through my grief and thoroughly enjoy the legacy that Chris has left.”-Monica H
“It seems just like yesterday that a good friend shared with me a different way of volunteering that lured me through those doors and propped me up on display as Ron Hoskins called me to the front for my introduction. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of volunteering at Action Wellness for several years, partnering with so many wonderful individuals who shared their lives, knowledge and experiences with me. Even to this day, I am energized to help provide support those who seek shelter, comfort and have a desire to be treated with dignity. I started out as a Buddy, filled-in as a team Administrator and stepped into the team Facilitator role where I enjoy every moment and interaction.”-Tomas L
“I became a volunteer at Action Wellness due to the very cogent recruiting efforts of my dear lifelong friend Ron Hoskins, who was the Director of Volunteers at the time and a man I strongly admired ever since my grade school years. It was the perfect time for me to begin volunteering and it afforded me the wonderful opportunity to be a partner and a contributor in providing the invaluable support and services that are so essential to our clients. Over the past fifteen years, I’ve learned a lot about character, and I’ve enjoyed so many rewarding experiences as a member of the Action Wellness community of staff, clients, volunteers, and friends.”-Frank P
“The reason I went to volunteer at Action Wellness was because of the discrimination against people living with AIDS. From what I witnessed, two people that I met back then became good friends with me. Unfortunately, they were too embarrassed to let me know that they had AIDS until they were on their death bed. Action Wellness is a place where people like myself find comfort and enjoyment being a volunteer there.”-Steven G.
“I am nurse. When I moved to Philadelphia wanted to volunteer at an organization that was providing services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Volunteering at Action Wellness has been an exceptional experience. The organization provides excellent support for the volunteers and provides resources to assist in the role of being a Buddy.”-Aaron H
“I started volunteering with Action Wellness f/k/a ActionAIDS when I graduated from college. I wanted to give back to my community and support those living with HIV/AIDS. During my time as a Buddy volunteer, I’ve learned the meaning of compassion, empathy, resilience and the importance of friendship. Now, as a board member and board chair, I know first-hand the amazing work Action Wellness is doing in the community. I can’t wait to serve another 20 years!”-Shelley L
“I have been involved with Action Wellness over the years participating in and supporting various fundraising events i.e. Dining Out For Life, AIDS Walk, etc. Kevin Burns and I have been professional colleagues for many years and I have great respect and admiration for him in the way he manages the organization and his staff for the breadth of services delivered to consumers. Kevin recruited me to the Board, which has been the center of my volunteer work with the organization, providing an enriched and satisfying experience for me.” –Kathleen M
Twenty Five Years
“I came to ActionAIDS at the urging of my friends Jesse Milan and Bill Roberts after doing the Philadelphia to DC AIDS Ride. I have had 4 clients. Each one with different challenges and strengths. We have learned much from each other. In addition to being a Buddy I was chosen as a team Administrator and a member of the Training Team. I enjoy teaching and learning from our new volunteers.”–Jill M