We are happy to introduce this month’s lovely Volunteer of the Month, Mona Lilien. Mona has been volunteering with Cultivate for 3 years, initially driving for VetsGo and then adding order taking for Carry-Out Caravan.  Mona was nominated by the Cultivate staff because she takes such nice  care of our clients, and the clients and staff all appreciate Mona so much! So let us tell you a little bit about this amazing Volunteer of the Month!

Mona grew up in New Jersey and, as a child, Mona’s ambition was to become a Physical Therapist. So sure enough, she went to college and got a degree in exactly that. Her first job, though, was working in the office at a company that sold office supplies. She eventually became a Customer Service manager and says that was one of her biggest challenges, but she made it through! Mona is very passionate about animals and older adults. “In my opinion, I think they’re the ones that need the most help,” says Mona. “And anytime I have the opportunity to help, I will.” 

Mona’s perfect day is to sleep until 7:00am, have breakfast and walk the dog. Then, a shopping date with friends, followed by a nice lunch. Next, a visit to an art show and dinner out with her husband Bob. The day would finish up by watching a British TV show. Mona also loves to travel and an international trip has been on her bucket list for years. She hopes to make it a reality this year!  Caring, reliable and fun are 3 words that describe Mona. She cares about the people around her, is always there when needed and likes to have fun, no matter what she’s doing.  

Mona has always been a hard working lady and put a lot of thought into how she saved and spent money. As a result, she was able to retire early and says the biggest piece of advice she’d give younger people is to save money and use your money wisely. The same with time; spend time wisely. This is why she volunteers, because “if we’re helping others, we are spending our time wisely.” Mona chose to volunteer at Cultivate because it is helping out with our senior community, the commitment is flexible and she enjoys the conversations she has with the clients. “As a teen I saw that my grandmother was always lonely.  And that made me think about other older people,  especially if they are not able to go out. So volunteering with Cultivate makes me feel good because I’m helping the clients feel less lonely through the conversations we have.” 

Thank you, Mona. It’s an honor to have you in our volunteer family!

About Ruby Zavala:

Ruby Zavala joined the Cultivate family three years ago as a Program Specialist, specializing in Carry-Out Caravan and Latino Outreach. Ruby is passionate about helping people and brightening the lives of others. When she is not working, she loves CrossFit, hiking, traveling, trying new foods, and being immersed in Colorado’s beautiful nature. Ruby is a lover of learning, aspiring to gain a deeper understanding of the world she lives in. 

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 Ruby at rzavala@cultivate.ngo