Volunteers are essential to the ASY’s ability to meet its Mission to make military life easier for the service members and military families of Twentynine Palms. In 2013 alone the ASY worked with more than 840 unique volunteers who contributed approximately 8,500 hours to our organization. These volunteers gave their time as Summer Camp Chaperones, as an extra pair hands sorting donations in the Thrift Store, and as Holiday Toy Program help. They do yard-work and file papers, attend special events and unload thousands of donations throughout the year. Many of them give up their lunch hours, weekends and evenings to give an hour or two of their time whenever they have it to be able to contribute to the ASY, its programs, and the families it serves. We couldn’t do what we do without them. Each month we will highlight one of these outstanding volunteers here.
Mary Trimmins is a Member at Large on the ASY Twentynine Palms Branch’s Board of Members. She joined the board in 2013. As the grand-daughter and wife of veterans Mary has an insider’s perspective on the struggles and challenges of military life.
What made you want to get involved at the ASY?
I had the pleasure of meeting the ASY’s Executive Director through an event I was involved in in Twentynine Palms at Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center. I was so impressed by the ASY staff’s dedication to their cause and after taking a tour of the ASYMCA It was clear that I needed to be involved. As a family member of a Marine Corps family – grandfathers serving in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War – and living at a Military Case at Patuxent River, MD, I knew the struggles of military families. The experience of living overseas with a new baby and living the day to day struggles of a military wife as a wife of a Navy Service Member also made me realize that I needed to volunteer.
What Projects have you been involved with and how has your experience been so far?
As a relatively new volunteer I chose the Free Ball Gown Giveaway and reached out to all my friends to donated their evening gowns and accessories. The response was overwhelming and in the interim I met other gals who were as passionate about this as I was. I then put my culinary skills to work as a check for Operation Hero’s December community service project, making and decorating cookies to give to the young Marines and Sailors who were unable to go home over the holidays. I again reached out to my friends and they were delighted to pitch in and bake cookies, ice cookies and assemble the boxes for delivery. I’ve also been involved with the Baby Shower for new mothers, making a large “Diaper Cake” and wrapping books of nursery rhymes for each young lady who attended.
What keeps you coming back?
I know how it feels to feel the isolation, and I understand the needs, but mostly the feeling that I’m making a difference and getting an opportunity to pay it forward. I enjoy meeting new people and being a part of something so very important. The ASY board and staff have graciously welcomed me and each and every time I volunteer I know what I do is important.