It’s that time of year again, when we encourage Waltham residents (and others!) to get out and get to know their neighbors. This year we are especially excited that we have two amazing volunteers who have agreed to head up this effort! In the spirit of getting to know one another, we thought we’d give you a chance to get to know these two volunteers extraordinaire! Read on to meet Dan Maloney and Emily Rudy.
1. Tell us about yourselves:
Emily: I am currently a senior in college. I love to cook, and I am a huge Boston Bruins fan.
Dan: I’ve lived in Waltham for about 5 years. I really like the vibe, the diversity of the community, the restaurants, the Aston Martin dealership and especially the river and the bike path. In my free time I like to do things with my family, practice jiu jitsu, cook, ogle exotic cars and go hiking. I love the Boston sports team (except the Pats … I’m a Lions fan) and am looking forward to having the Red Sox ruin my summer this year.
2. How long have you been involved at REACH?
Emily: I started volunteering as an intern at REACH in September of 2014.
Dan: About 2 years
3. What drew you to the organization?
Emily: I had heard of the organization before, and I really liked the idea of getting involved with an organization in the Waltham community.
Dan: I work for a non-profit that counts among its clients many people in or coming out of DV relationships and I felt I needed to learn more about the dynamics of those relationships to be better at my job.
4. How did you first become involved?
Emily: I am enrolled in a clinical psychology practicum course through my university. The class includes a combination of both coursework and fieldwork. For my fieldwork, I intern at REACH.
Dan: I was on the organizing committee for Say Hi last year, and helped out around the Fall Festival.
5. What do you like most about volunteering with REACH?
Emily: All of the wonderful people I have met through REACH.
Dan: The people that I have met. The staff and all the volunteers are lovely.
6. Are there any stories or events from your time with us that stick out in your mind?
Dan: The Pop Up Coffee Bar from last year’s Say Hi. I was at the Brandeis/Roberts Commuter Rail Station and got to talking with one of the volunteers from Brandeis University, who was from Tibet and had only been in the US for a few months. She told me that one of the things she really missed about home was Tibetan food, so I asked her if there was any food in the US that she’d discovered that she liked. She got this funny, almost guilty, look on her face, and said, “I really love burritos!” Well, I really love burritos also. I felt like we’d bridged the international divide.
7. What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with REACH but not sure if they should get involved?
Emily: Do it! It is an absolutely amazing organization with great people who work there. REACH is such a wonderful part of the Waltham community, and you will meet such great people if you choose to volunteer.
Dan: I find that people who are hesitating to get involved with something, or start something, usually are waiting for the “right time” to get started … when I’m less busy, I’ll do it, when I resolve this problem, I’ll do it, etc. The thing is, there never is a “right time.” There will always be a reason to put it off. So if you want to do something, just do it, and if it is for you, you’ll make it work. If you are going to wait for the perfect time to get started, it’ll never happen.
8. What are you most excited for during Say Hi Week?
Emily: Everything! This is my first year being part of Say Hi week, and I am so excited to see all the events come together.
Dan: This year’s Pop Up Coffee Bar. I am kind of a coffee fiend, so this is near and dear to my heart.
9. Anything else you’d like to add?
Dan: Just get out there and do something to get involved. Even if it isn’t at REACH, just do something to increase community. Teddy Roosevelt said that “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The best part of that is the “work worth doing” part is entirely up to you.
Click here to find a complete list of events that are happening for Say Hi Week.