My main driver for volunteering is that I have time, a little bit of talent, and the desire to help where I can.
If there was a prize for World’s Best Volunteer Generalist, Ray Day would likely win hands down. Volunteering from his hometown of Aldie, Virginia, Ray supports a wide-range of local charities and non-profits. There’s almost nothing this talented, energetic volunteer can’t do, and do well.
After a professional career that began as a Programmer, Ray ultimately become a Systems Analyst, with a few jobs and titles including Real Estate sales in between. Ray retired almost four years ago and turned to volunteering because his wife Mary, “wanted me out of the house,” he joked.
Ray loves ice cream sandwiches. Not the kind in a box though, he likes to make his own from scratch. He makes so many of them in fact, he hand-delivers 40 of the delicious treats twice a month to the Capital Caring Adler Center, a palliative care and hospice home where he volunteers.
“I knew I had the time and talent to help others and it’s better to give back to people than sit around the house all day,” Ray said.
What began as a fun hobby dropping off ice cream at the Adler Home, soon grew into more.
“I view myself as a "volunteer generalist" as opposed to a "volunteer specialist,” Ray said. “I volunteer at a lot of places instead of concentrating on just one. I do a variety of different things for the organizations I help, from cooking, delivering packages, running the sidelines at football games, putting together meal packets, reviewing community issues and helping travelers get to where they need to go,” Ray said. “I'm not sure I have one favorite thing, I really enjoy all of it.
In addition to volunteering at the Capital Caring Adler Home, he also volunteers at John Champe High School, Rise Against Hunger (providing packaged meals to countries around the world), the Stone Ridge Home Owners Association, and Travelers Aid (providing assistance for people who need help at Washington Dulles Airport).
Ray says it is always heartwarming when he can put a smile on a person’s face through his volunteer work.
One could say that volunteering is in Ray’s blood.
“I consider my first step into volunteering as donating blood which I started 40+ years ago, he recalled. “That was inspired by peer pressure while in college. Since then I've supported a variety of organizations with my time as I had it with a growing family. Once my kids were grown and I retired, I geared up my volunteering considerably. My main driver for volunteering is that I have time, a little bit of talent, and the desire to help where I can. I volunteer because it’s a good thing to do - it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Cabot found Ray through our Reward Volunteers program, which awards prizes to volunteers who log their time online. A volunteer coordinator at Capital Caring shared the program with Ray and he has been logging time ever since.
This will be Ray’s second Community Celebrity Cruise having been honored by Cabot in 2017. Joining us as a Celebrity Cruise Alumnus in 2019, Ray will be accompanied by his wife, Mary. They love to follow their favorite sports teams and are avid Capitals, Nationals, Redskins Wizards, and Terps Basketball and Football fans. And Ray enjoys Cabot Pepper Jack while watching the games!