Archive for November, 2011

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New York / Nevada State of Mind

November 3, 2011

Last month, our featured VISTA told us of the two years she served at HELP of Southern Nevada. November brings us the brand new VISTA who has traveled a great distance in to fill Meagan’s shoes.

Lisa Laudadio hails from Long Island, New York. She chose HELP because of its remarkable mission: “We assist families and individuals throughout Southern Nevada to overcome barriers and attain self-sufficiency through direct services, and training and referral to community resources.” Hard-pressed to find something more important than independence for all people, Lisa decided to pack her New York life into a suitcase and head to Las Vegas, always knowing she was making the right decision. “My heart pulled me here,” she said. “I saw opportunity to make a lasting change in the lives of many, and that could not be resisted.”

Having taken on the role of Volunteer Coordinator, Lisa has begun recruiting and scheduling volunteers to assist during the many life-changing HELP events that occur throughout the holiday season. First up is Holiday Intake, where volunteers help clients fill out applications requesting assistance for Thanksgiving and December holidays. Lisa is also gathering volunteers for the Turkey-Thon, Turkey Distribution, Adopt-a-Family, the Toy Drive, and Toy Distribution. Each event brings food and gifts to families that would not have a happy holiday season due to their current circumstances.

“Holidays for me growing up were always surrounded by family,” Lisa said, “no matter the circumstances.” She thoroughly enjoyed Italian Thanksgiving with Lasagna, Manicotti, and Eggplant Parmesan. Another big dinner followed on Christmas Eve before her family gathered around the tree to exchange gifts. And Christmas morning found she and her brother racing to the tree to see what Santa had brought. Lisa is thankful for the opportunity to bring a fuller, happier holiday experience to needy families in the Las Vegas area through her work at HELP.

For the coming year, Lisa has both personal and professional goals she’d like to achieve. She hopes to aid in the expansion of both departments in which she works: in-kind donations and volunteer coordination. She’d like to create additional partnerships for donors and a volunteer program that promotes social responsibility in a greater portion of our community. Personally, Lisa wants to “push my boundaries and those of the people around me, to supersede the expectations set by myself, my friends, my family and, most importantly, those who hired me at HELP.” Those are big goals, and we believe Lisa will have no problem achieving them.

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