I wasn’t getting enough satisfaction from my job, so I started volunteering. It’s been a wonderful experience.
Jacqueline was born and raised in the Bronx, and hers is a great American story. Her father was from Trinidad and her mom from St. Croix, and she has built a wonderful life working in health care throughout her career. In fact, Jacqueline has been attending nursing school for the past five years while continuing to work, and expects to earn her BSN degree next year. Her fifteen-year-old son, Antoine, recently underwent major surgery on his pancreas, and he will be joining Jacqueline on the cruise as a reward for the courage and strength he has shown throughout his ordeal.
Jacqueline works and volunteers for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York where she is their business service coordinator. She sees her calling as serving and helping others, and she was naturally drawn to health care when she first joined the work force. As a volunteer with the VNSVNS outside her normal working duties, Jacqueline visits with cancer patients and helps them get through chemotherapy and other treatments. This often means going to the homes of patients at the request of the American Cancer Society with a wig kit in hand, fitting and helping the patients select a wig, and then following up to making sure they got just what they wanted. This simple act of compassion has brought comfort to hundreds of people and helps them cope with their illness.
Among other things, Jacqueline also volunteers at the Bowery Resident Center in lower Manhattan where she helps the homeless transition back into society and works with them to find permanent residences. She often works with mentally impaired people and has been praised time and again for her calm demeanor and kindness. It seems that people with mental infirmities are drawn to Jacqueline and gather to greet when she shows up at the door. Says Jacqueline: "I got started volunteering because I didn't feel I was contributing enough in my job. It brings me great pleasure to see people respond to kindness and to help them when they need it most."