Volunteer Profile: Tonya Torp
Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland
How long have you been volunteering?
I started volunteering as a Candy Striper at a hospital when I was 14 and have always enjoyed volunteering from that experience forward.
Why did you get involved with AVOL?
Over the years I have loved and lost friends to AIDS. When I moved to KY from my home in VA, I began hearing about the work AVOL did in the community and I knew I had to be a part of it. The client empowerment, the services offered, and the staff are impeccable. I knew I wanted an opportunity to serve my community alongside them. Also, as an Evangelical Christian, I find that the church in general is not often living up to our Biblical principles. We are to love not merely with words but with deeds. AVOL helps me live out my faith in a way that challenges me to listen more than I talk and to look past differences to find the common ground. That common ground is love and compassion.
Favorite thing about volunteering at AVOL/best memory:
My best memory volunteering at AVOL was working an event to raise money for programming. It was a dance party complete with people from every walk of life. My husband agreed to work the door with me and we met the most amazing people! Many were walking by and heard what we were raising money for and donated even though they did not want to attend. The energy and the love is what drew them in.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love community advocacy so I spend a great deal of my time volunteering in Boards, Neighborhood Associations, and working with the young ladies in my neighborhood to develop healthy self esteem.
“And I think that’s what our world is desperately in need of: lovers–people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people behind the issues they are concerned about.”
— Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)