Volunteer Anniversary Milestones

The work done by Action Wellness has always relied on the efforts of our volunteers to support our clients. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not able to celebrate with our volunteers in person. This page honors our volunteers who are celebrating milestone anniversaries with Action Wellness.

Five Year Anniversaries

“I can’t believe it’s already been 5 years! With Action Wellness, I have had the pleasure to serve in Immediate Seating, Dining Out For Life, and as a Buddy Volunteer. It means so much to know that I am able to participate in the betterment of our community in a fun and exciting way. I have thoroughly enjoyed bonding with my buddies and fellow volunteers, exploring ways to make the most of our efforts in providing emotional care. I’m so sad that the pandemic forced us to cancel this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Party, but I anticipate many more years of partying with the agency. Lastly, I am happy to help in our continuation of Ron Hoskin’s legacy – proudly advocating for those who need it most in our community.” – Jonathan Y.

“I know from experience the importance of getting out after an isolating illness, so volunteering with the Immediate Seating Program was made for me. Plus, I get to talk a lot, one of life’s most important experiences! Action Wellness has done more for my mental health, than I have done for Action Wellness”- Harley M.

“I became an Action Wellness member, formerly known as Action AIDS, because of personal and professional experiences. Since undergraduate studies, I realized that becoming a proactive member in my community allowed me to give my time and attention to volunteer opportunities that served a greater purpose beyond myself, my family, my friends, and my career aspirations. Furthermore, I have close friends that I have witnessed, firsthand, how challenging living with HIV/AIDS or a chronic illness can impact the holistic quality of life.

Joining Action Wellness and became a part of the buddy program continues to be one of my most inspiring and valuable experiences. The volunteers, staff, and other related members have shown approachability, genuineness, kindness, and dedication to our community’s members, and everyone has positively impacted my life.

Thank you, Action Wellness, for doing what you do for our Greater Philadelphia community!” – Anastasia S.

When Jonathan talks about his time at Action Wellness–an amazing five years–he often talks about all of the “great people” he has gotten to meet! When he started out he was just looking for “a way to give back” to his community and feel like he was “helping an important cause.” In the years since, he’s enjoyed truly connecting with his client, a person that has brought just as much to Jonathan’s life as Jonathan was hoping to provide–friendship, understanding, and presence.
So now after all these years the narrative has changed from wondering what he could give to what we have shared. And he’s thankful. – Jonathan W.

Matthew is a father of four and lives in Philadelphia with his husband and children. He has a background in theater and in public health. He is happy being useful doing office work and data entry, but has taken much joy in the atmosphere working with the other volunteers and staff members preparing for such large events such as Dine Out for Life. He would like to thank Action Wellness for letting him be a part of your good work for these past five years. – Matthew S.

“The Buddy Program at Action Wellness allows me to provide emotional support and companionship to my buddy. When things get tough, it helps to have someone you can talk to. I have truly enjoyed being a buddy. This program keeps me motivated and it’s been my pleasure to be part of this great buddy program.” – Onyi E., Pharm.D, BCACP

“My first introduction to Action Wellness was nearly a decade ago when I had the privilege of treating one of their clients as a patient. I saw first-hand how that patient was able to benefit from the services like assistance with appointments, help paying for medications and case management. It was clear to me that they were providing the highest quality work and that the people they served were treated like family. I had the honor to be invited to join the Board of Action Wellness and have enjoyed participating in the organization but even more so becoming part of their family. My favorite event is Dining Out for Life which brings friends together around great meals to raise money and awareness to support the great work of the organization. Thank you for the opportunity.” – Jonathan B.

“There are so many things I’ve loved about my time volunteering with Action Wellness. My buddy team (#1) has been incredible—I’ve bonded so deeply with my team leaders Andrea and John, and my teammate Amir. It is amazing to be able to catch up with them each month at our meetings, and to see them outside the agency at events like Glamsino Royale (that raffle is no joke!!!). I can’t believe that it’s been 5 years already. The time has really flown by and was made incredibly special by Jay, Jimmy, and Ron. No one has ever made me laugh harder than Ron when he would flirt with the new buddies! It’s an honor to be a part of the Action Wellness family and I’m looking forward to the next 5 years!”- Rachel W.

 

Not Pictured:

William S.
Margaret D.
Michael B.
Kevin B.
Erik H.
Trenda W.
Ian M.


10 Year Anniversaries

“As an Action Wellness Volunteer for the past ten years, I have enjoyed supporting the agency in many different roles. I have solicited local small businesses to donate Door Prizes to the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party, I have supported the Immediate Seating Program by soliciting tickets to local venues for the benefit of Action Wellness Clients.
I have volunteered twice as a Dining Out for Life Ambassador to represent the agency at local restaurants and solicited cash donations to fund the various noteworthy services that are offered to its Clients and finally I have promoted the Buddy Program at numerous Philly Pride and OutFest Events.” – Ron M.

“I joined the Buddy Program 10 years ago and the experience has been one that has impacted my life in so many amazing ways for the past 9 years, I have been working with my client and her and I have developed such a close bond. We have spent countless hours together at Starbucks talking about things ranging from the current political climate to who celebrities are dating. This buddy relationship has grown through the years and I value her as one of my closest and dearest friends. I have also had the experience of being the administrator for Buddy Team #1 and through, I have had the chance to develop meaningful relationships with the team members that go beyond their personal buddy assignments. I look forward to hearing about my team members’ lives and I feel that we spend most of our meeting laughing together. This has been a wonderful 10 years filled with plenty of ups and downs but I am excited to see what lies ahead in my future with the Buddy Program!” – Andrea D.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years! This anniversary allows me to reflect on my time with Action Wellness. It seems like the more one gives, the more one receives in unexpected and meaningful ways. I think that is the essence of the program. The friendships I have made in celebration and in loss are alive even if those people no longer are and that has taught me what friendship really means. I look forward to the next 10 years, and 10 years after that. But most of all I am grateful for the 10 years I have been able to volunteer with Action Wellness.” – Frank S.

“In the last ten years I have been truly honored to be a volunteer in the Buddy Program at Action Wellness. Those who are affiliated with this organization show nothing short of kindness, dedication, and heroism. Thank you all for your continued work here in Philadelphia! I would especially like to thank my fabulous buddy, who never fails to make me giggle and who always encourages me to see the beauty in this world!” – Megan F.

“I’m so happy to be part of the Action Wellness Buddy Program. It’s a wonderfully altruistic organization that makes an enormous difference in the lives of people living with chronic conditions. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent with my clients (my “Buddies”) over the years. One of my fondest memories is this one: I often went to the Philadelphia Orchestra with one of my Buddies who loved classical music. One particular evening at the Kimmel Center, the conductor entered the stage to thunderous ovation and I remarked to my Buddy, “Wouldn’t it be great to get that kind of reaction every time we entered a room?” and from that day on, he always said goodbye to me by saying “I hope you have an applause-filled week!” It was just his way of thanking me for being there for him. Just thinking about that makes me smile every time.” – Glenn H.


15 Year Anniversaries

Richard B.

 

Not Pictured:

Patrice P. 


25 Year Anniversaries

“I started volunteering at Action AIDS in November 1995, after caring for a friend who had been diagnosed the prior year (May) and passed shortly thereafter. The experience inspired and highly motivated me to become a member of the team ActionAIDS. The case managers at ActionAIDS were very supportive, encouraging as well as motivating & inspiring me to become a volunteer and give back.
During my time with Action Wellness I had one buddy for thirteen years, from whom I learned a lot as a person living with HIV, an experience I will always be grateful for. I’ve had many highlights as an Action Wellness Facilitator of Team #3, a part time trainer and volunteer on the Action Wellness Board.” – Brenard L.


30 Year Anniversaries

“Thirty years ago I decided to become a volunteer at ActionAIDS because I wanted to do something for my community. My experiences have been rewarding and I owe that to the staff and many volunteers over the years. Being a buddy, speaker, team facilitator and board member has enriched my life over these years. I look forward to continuing being a part of Action Wellness.” – Leah C.

“I joined Action Wellness in November 1990’s training two weeks after my partner, Antonio’s, death. He had become POZ two years before then and had trained to be a Buddy, but became too sick to take on the role. So, after he passed, I decided to pick up where he left off and have been here ever since, dedicating my volunteer work to his memory.

Most people who have been trained by me, know my crazy experiences with my Buddy clients and the impact they have had on my life, and, hopefully, the impact I have had on theirs. It was a different landscape back when I started and I didn’t always do everything by the book. I’ve since learned how to do everything by the book. I can only hope that I have honored Antonio’s memory in all these years. Being a Buddy has taught me what compassion is.” – Jimmy O.


35 Year Anniversaries

Michael N.

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