We are happy to introduce our newest Volunteer of the Month, Ginny C.  She has been a volunteer for Cultivate for eight years and is a dedicated order taker, double checker and shopper for our Carry-Out Caravan program in Longmont.  She is not only a very hard worker but also really personable and has become very connected to our staff, volunteers and clients.

Ginny was born in Pasadena, CA and spent her early years there. Her dad was a research physicist at Cal Tech and had worked on the Manhattan project. Her mom died when she was 4, leaving him with 3 young children.  When Ginny was 6 her father remarried and she gained another brother. Her family left California for 3 years to live in Littleton, Colorado because her father was asked to set up a research institute at the University of Denver. Ginny's passion at the time was horses and in the 50s, Littleton was the perfect place for that. When the family left Colorado to go back to California, Ginny told her mother she was going to marry a rich rancher and move back to Colorado, which she eventually did, although without the rancher.

Ginny attended college at Occidental, near Pasadena, where she met and married her first husband and eventually moved to Chicago with him. Her next big step was the birth of their first child, and then law school. When she took time off from school to have her second child, Ginny took a local pottery class and that was that. No more law school and the start of her becoming a potter. 

Making a living as a potter was pretty much of a fantasy for Ginny and when her kids were starting middle school, she figured it was time for an upgrade. Having no savings or health care and being a single mom at the time, their future didn't look good. So she crammed to open her brain back up to academia and received her MBA from the University of Michigan. After graduating she got an honest to goodness corporate job with Ameritech, a regional telephone company in Michigan. Not only did that help get her kids through school but it also led to her meeting her present husband Jerry. 

Ginny and Jerr moved to Colorado in 1995 and after she left corporate life in 2000, they opened an art gallery in Castle Rock - which Ginny says was the surest way to lose money. Ginny also restarted her pottery life plus worked as a gardener for nine years at Castle Pines Golf Club (they offered health insurance!). She is so grateful that there is now the ACA instead of people having to hold on to a job just for the security of healthcare.  Ginny was active in her local arts group, both in Longmont and with the Denver Potters Guild. In addition to potting, she loves to cook, knit, make quilts and is an avid reader. Both of Ginny's kids moved to Colorado in 1998. Between the two of them, Ginny and Jerr have seven grown grandkids.  

Volunteer life for Ginny started long before Cultivate. She helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity and then started an Empty Bowl fundraiser event in Castle Rock for the Women's Crisis Center. The event grew and was so successful that after a few years they were able to build a new shelter! Retirement has given Ginny more time to give back and Cultivate has been a superb opportunity for Ginny. She appreciates being part of an organization that has such a hands-on feeling in serving those they offer services to.  Taking orders for Carry-Out Caravan provides her an interface into so many lives and the ability to spend a little extra time on the phone with many to offer shopping help and tips and to spend time just talking. As she get older, Ginny realizes more and more how small conversations can mean so much to others and what we get back from them

A group of volunteers gather Tuesday morning at King Sooper to shop and double check the Longmont grocery orders and that has become a social time in itself which was an unexpected gift. Her husband Jerr is a regular delivery driver and Ginny will also deliver to various clients as a substitute driver when there is a need.  They both have seen first hand how important this service is when they are helping unpack and put away the groceries for them. 

But the ultimate gift Ginny has received as a volunteer (and she is sure others have as well) is the actual friendships she has made with several of their clients. She says her life has been enriched from their quality time together at coffee shops and on drives.  An example of one of these special friendships is Ginny's relationship with Barbara H. She is 93 and as sharp as when she was young. They have traded stories for hours and she has taken her to see where her family lives around this area. In exchange, she directed Ginny to the Boulder house where she spent most of her married life and still knew the names of all the kids and adults that were part of that time.  They see each other almost every week and are now definitely family. 

We are so grateful for Ginny and all the extra time and compassion she gives to Cultivate and our clients.  The extra effort she makes to ensure our clients get the correct grocery order and items as well as connections she has made with everyone she interacts with while volunteering.  Your personal touch is so valuable and appreciated!  Thank you!

About Cam Low:

Cam Low, a Boulder Native, enjoys the outdoors, practicing yoga, listening to live music, and spending time with her friends and family.  As an avid Buffs fan, she is a devoted volunteer with the CU Boulder Alumni Chapter and Buffs4Life as well as an Ambassador for the Boulder Chamber. She joined the Cultivate family in March 2020 as a Business Development and Program Specialist. Cam is passionate about helping seniors and eager to introduce Cultivate clients to other people within the Cultivate Community, further encouraging the connection and relationship between clients, volunteers, donors, and staff. 

Our dedicated volunteers are crucial to the Cultivate family and living our mission of helping seniors flourish through active engagement with their community. Each month we will feature their stories in Volunteer of the Month. If you are interested or want to nominate someone else, please contact Cam Low at clow@cultivate.ngo