Volunteer Spotlight – Eileen Gribbin

Name: Eileen Gribbin
Age: 36 (might be 37 when newsletter comes out!! Birthday 10/8!)
Grade: Graduated from Notre Dame in 2001. I am now an Informatics Consultant at CIGNA
Volunteer Position: Enrichment Clubs’ Volunteer Manager
Years Attended: 2 years

img_9208Favorite Movie: I love sports, especially the Olympics and Notre Dame football, so two of my favorite movies are Miracle and Rudy.

Favorite Quote: “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening and live like it’s heaven on earth”
I heard about True Mentors about 2 years ago when I started a new job that allowed me more free time for volunteering. TM came up in a Google search of volunteer opportunities in Hoboken and seemed like a great fit – and it was! I attend the enrichment clubs every Tuesday night fro 6-8pm. Deciding to volunteer with True Mentors was a great decision and I am so happy to be a part of the volunteer team!
What I enjoy most about volunteering is the children and how they all have very different and very unique personalities. I love talking to some of them about sports, others about school and others about family trips they have taken. Each week is so different and never gets boring! I also really love their energy and how just being in class with them can make a long / stressful work day much much better.
I also mostly just love the little moments when you feel like you have made a difference or that the child has enjoyed what you have taught them, what you’ve talked about or what you’ve worked on together.
My favorite clubs activity thus far would be a tie between cooking classes because the kids really love that and get very excited about what they make, and the play, Annie. Seeing all of their hard work pay off and seeing how proud they were of themselves at the end of a great performance was really special. I also really like when we do team building type competitive games during clubs – the kids love it and the volunteers get to compete and have fun also! 
After volunteering for 2 years, I think that I’ve definitely become a more patient and outgoing person as a result of True Mentors! Volunteering with the kids has also taught me to put things into perspective in a more positive way -I.e. It’s very easy to forget about a bad day when you are running around the playground or laughing and having fun with the kids!!
As a volunteer even I have learned new things at enrichment clubs! I loved when shoprite came to class to teach the kids how to make protein balls / snacks. I’d never had them before and have made them on my own since learning the recipe at TM – they are so good! The kids teach me new things every week – things like the latest toys, games and technology!
Besides the kids, one of my favorite things about true mentors is the other people I volunteer with. Everyone is so nice, energetic and always seem to be in a good mood on Tuesday nights to make the classes really great for the kids! The other volunteers care so much about the kids and what is going on in their lives and it really shows with how they interact with them.
I encourage kids to get involved to have new experiences every week. I don’t know if school is different now, but when I was younger we didn’t have cooking, or acting or arts and crafts, etc during school so TM is a great way to try out new activities and learn new things! Plus, it’s a great way to make new friends in town outside of their own school!
I attended the Scavenger Hunt last year and it was so much fun!! I really believe in True Mentors and the work they are doing with children in the community so the fundraisers and events are another great and fun opportunity to help out in addition to volunteering. I also loved getting my friends involved too and having them get to experience a true mentors event and see some of the kids from class.
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