As a member of the Neighbors Welcome Center volunteer team, Maria is devoted to assisting clients, helping with donations and keeping the front desk area – including the bakery shelf and waiting room – “clean and tidy” for all our visitors. She takes pride in providing a good “first impression.”

Maria came to Neighbors as a volunteer 11 years ago when she was at a point in her life where she felt she “needed to take the focus off (her)self and do something to help others.” She had heard of Neighbors through her church and decided to give it a try. Since then, her smile and positive attitude have been a weekly fixture at the front desk, welcoming people to Neighbors.

One of her favorite parts about volunteering at Neighbors is the relationships she has made. “I enjoy talking to the other volunteers and clients who I’ve come to know through the years,” she said. In addition to the friends she has made, she is motivated to keep coming back is because she “enjoys helping people in whatever small way that I can” and feels good “trying to help people and to make a difference in their lives for just a little while.”

Her advice to others who are thinking about volunteering: “Give it a try if you are willing to keep an open mind to learn new things and have rewarding experiences.”

When she is not at Neighbors, Maria is involved at her church, volunteers at the Wentworth branch of the Dakota County Library, golfs during the summer and participates in Silver Sneaker classes at The Grove. She also loves to travel.

Thanks, Maria, for all you do at Neighbors!