Volunteer Appreciation Week 2020: Celebrating Anna-Maria Schaefer
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year,
but when you volunteer you vote every day about the community you want to live in.
“I’m blessed,” will be the first words said in a greeting from Anna-Maria Schaefer (pictured above to the right of HP Board member, Deanna Slamans) who has volunteered for Haiti Partners in Vero Beach almost since the organization began. She first learned of Haiti Partners at her church where she remains an active member. Anna-Maria soon found herself in the Haiti Partners office volunteering once a week which she generously continues to do nearly a decade later.
A retired community nurse, Anna-Maria is an experienced caregiver and a devout Christian. Upon meeting her, you are easily inspired by her thoughtful words and strengthened by her example.
“While I knew I would not be physically able to manage the rough topography of Haiti to assist the people in any way, I really felt led to support the important work of Haiti Partners in some way with its commitment to the Haitian community in nurturing it in body, mind and spirit.”
Anna-Maria is the familiar author of countless handwritten thank you notes sent to HP supporters on our handmade Haitian greeting cards. Messages of welcome and stories of the children’s progress are carefully constructed and sent to those newly affiliated with the organization and those, she will remind us, who have given their steadfast monthly support since Haiti Partners began.
Importantly, her messages chronicle the history of Haiti Partners. Some of her stories share the growth of the children, some who now have been provided job skills and give back as contributing adults. Many of her notes share the harsh realities of helping lift up the people of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. She believes that “the spirit must also be fed.”
Anna-Maria’s notes of gratitude are one of the meaningful ways Haiti Partners continues to help Haitians change Haiti through education. It is indeed Haiti Partners who is blessed, and we give thanks for volunteer Anna-Maria Schaefer.
Are you interested in volunteering with us? Click here to inquire about how you can help.