People Who Care: Volunteer Ron White talks about the power of giving back
Ronald White first heard about Monarch in one of his classes at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C. He had to write a paper about an organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Monarch happened to be on the list of choices.
When he moved back to Columbia, N.C. last year, he remembered what he wrote for the class and decided to look more closely at Monarch’s services in his area. He was especially interested because he was finishing up his studies in Human Services and Technology with a focus on helping those with developmental disabilities.
He quickly discovered Monarch’s Scuppernong Club day program and contacted the site to become a volunteer, starting with the program in early March. He volunteers four hours each day Monday-Friday.
White said that each day is different depending on the needs of people we support. He has performed many duties from giving participants lessons on money management and personal hygiene to developing a plan for each individual to accomplish their goals.
“I believe that people with disabilities can accomplish anything,” White said. He also believes strongly in the power of reading and had donated two books to the club that he has read with each participant individually. Both books feature characters with a developmental disability and show the great things they can accomplish.
“I try to let each person I work with know they are someone, they are part of a community and they do have a voice,” he said.
White noted that working with the I/DD population was a natural fit for him because every job he has ever had has been centered on healthcare or helping people. He said that his patience has increased as result of volunteering at Monarch and he learns something new every day.
“I believe it’s important for us to give back to people who have a disability. They have so much pride in their accomplishments when we finish a project together at the club. Guidance is the key to helping them accomplish their dreams, and letting them know they have a voice just like anyone else,” White said.
Pictured above: Monarch volunteer Ron White (seated center) poses with several participants of Monarch’s Scuppernong Club day program in Columbia, N.C., where he volunteers Monday-Friday. White said he believes it’s important to give back to people who live with a disability.