Volunteer of the Week: Susie Gendron, of Lawrence

Susie Gendron, 46, of Lawrence, Michigan, is a volunteer at the Dowagiac Elks Lodge. Since becoming a member, she has helped with several tasks including organizing Breakfast with Santa and helping with the Wooden Nickel Program.

What do you do with the Dowagiac Elks Lodge?

My primary role is doing Breakfast with Santa, but the Elks in general do a lot for the community. I’m just a little part of a big organization.

Susie Gendron

How long have you been volunteering with the Elks Lodge?

I’ve been a member for at least three years. I started doing Breakfast with Santa as [the previous organizer] was no longer able to do it. I work with early childhood in my regular job, so it was just a natural fit for me to take it over.

What is your favorite part of volunteering with the Elks?

Our motto is “Elks care, Elks share.” I love the fact that we get to give back to the community because that is something I feel like that is getting lost in this upcoming generation — that feeling of giving back and community service. I feel that is really important, and I’m really happy to be able to do that.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer to the community?

It not only enriches my life, but it enriches the lives of the people we are able to help. It’s a win-win for everybody.

How would you encourage others to volunteer?

The reason why I volunteer, personally, is that it fills my cup. I like to give back because I am very blessed in my life. I have a great family. I have great friends. I feel like everybody should feel encouragement and support and fulfillment the way that I have had in my life. I would hope other [volunteers] would feel [fulfillment], too.

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