Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Meet the Vitalant volunteer building capacity with her organizational talents and making face masks with her crocheting skills.
RSVP Director's Foreword: One of the great privileges I enjoy as RSVP Director is the opportunity to get to know our volunteers and capture their remarkable stories of service. On a regular basis, I'll be bringing you profiles of the dedicated older adults who exemplify the values that RSVP and national service are built on.
Volunteer: Felicidad Co-Groves
Volunteer Station: Vitalant
RSVP Member Since: 2019
Felicidad has served as a capacity building volunteer at Vitalant in downtown Spokane since September 2019. Vitalant is a nonprofit organization that collects blood from volunteer donors and provides blood, blood products and services across the United States. They are one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers.
As a capacity building volunteer, Felicidad performs clerical, administrative, and other indirect services which enable the organization to operate more effectively, efficiently, or with greater reach. She frequently helps in the mail room, sorting incoming mail and preparing outgoing correspondence. Vitalant employs clerical volunteers in a variety of other ways as well, including working reception, filing, data entry, and even driving a Vitalant vehicle in order to transport blood products to and from mobile blood drives and hospitals.
Prior to joining RSVP, Felicidad enjoyed a long career as a professional chemist in a testing lab in Seattle. There, she also served as an administrative volunteer for the Seattle Municipal Court, in the gift store of a local children's hospital, and at the King County library. After moving to Spokane, she began volunteering at the Spokane Municipal Court, where she continues to serve in addition to her work at Vitalant.
In the brief time she's served at Vitalant, Felicidad has already made a lasting mark on the organization. Felicidad explained that in February 2020, she developed and implemented a new project in the mail room at the Spokane office. Working over four hours a day at each shift for a month, she cleaned up duplicate and even triplicate vendor and generally streamlined the entire process for preparing outgoing mail.
Octavia Lewis, the head of Community Outreach and Volunteer Services at Vitalant, attested in a recent survey that Felicidad's contributions as a volunteer have "greatly" increased the organization's effectiveness and efficiency. Felicidad has always prided herself on being an organized and systematized person, and it shows.
Recently, Felicidad has put her knitting and crocheting skills to use in support of the ongoing effort to supply community organizations - including our own, the YMCA of the Inland Northwest - with face masks. We highlighted Felicidad's face mask contributions a few months ago on our RSVP Facebook Page.
Felicidad was even kind enough to drop off masks for the RSVP staff. So I can personally confirm that Felicidad's masks, which feature a pocket for inserting a separate cotton liner, are both comfortable and convenient. Our volunteers' generosity never ceases to impress.