Pittsburgh's Volunteers and Their Spirit of Giving
12 longstanding local volunteers tell us why they've chosen to donate their time, talent and treasure for decades.
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Ask any long-term volunteer what inspires them and you tend to get the same answer: “I just love it.” For these dozen people, that love has translated into a dedication of not only time and energy, but — without hyperbole — a dedication of their lives.
When they’re too tired, too worn out, too busy, too everything to show up and put the time in, they still do. Day in, day out. Evenings. Weekends. Holidays. Collectively, these 12 Pittsburgh-area residents have donated tens of thousands of hours and more than 200 years of service.
The daily removal of litter; a mountain of worn-out tennis shoes from thousands of shelter-dog strolls; decades of service as a foster parent. Their sacrifices ensure that one of America’s most livable cities remains that way for all, not just some, of its residents. In many ways, their affiliations and interests couldn’t be more different, but a common thread of selflessness connects them all.
Dr. DeMarquis Clarke, 40
• Multiple organizations
• Years of Service: 30
“I believe we grow most when we’re in relationship with people who are different from us. It’s not just a service; it’s about me trying to grow and evolve and better myself as a human being,” says Dr. DeMarquis Clarke. His evolution began as an adolescent, when Clarke accompanied his mother, Rep. Alyce Griffin Clarke — the first African-American woman elected to the Mississippi Legislature — to support meetings for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Today, Clarke is a licensed marriage and family therapist and CEO of the Center for Relational Change; he advocates for social justice by fighting against sex trafficking, racial discrimination, bullying and poverty, in addition to championing for marriage equality and gay rights.
Lynn Glorieux, 71
• East Allegheny
• East Allegheny Community Council
• Years of Service: 25
Lynn Glorieux no longer gets mad when people leave litter around Allegheny Commons Park. After more than two decades of picking it up, she’s resigned to the fact that litter is inevitable. “I’m hopeful that some people will be less likely to throw their wrapper on the ground when they see me picking it up. But I do not hold my breath!” As long as she can walk, she says, she’ll pick up litter. “Instead of ever needing to use a cane, I’m just going to use a broom and dustpan. I can’t imagine not doing it,” she says.
Gail DeMarco, 48
• Animal Friends
• Years of Service: 25
How many tennis shoes has Gail DeMarco worn out in 25 years spent walking dogs at Animal Friends? “A lot!” she laughs. Pouring rain, blazing sun, freezing cold — regardless of what’s on the weather radar, she’s exercising pooches on the shelter’s trails five, six, even seven days a week. A full-time teacher for Moon Area High School and pet parent to four dogs of her own, she likes to say she’ll hang up her leash “when they wheel me out of there.” “When you go there and go home, it’s such a good feeling,” says the Animal Friends Lifetime Achievement Awardee. “You’re there to make their time better.”
Carmen Malloy, 56
• Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters
• Years of Service: 30+
Did Carmen Malloy think she’d spend more than three decades of her life helping others? “No,” she says, adding that a family member might’ve guessed her future dedication to service: “But my mom saw it within me!” By day, Malloy — a native of Colombia — works as a consultant and customer relations specialist at Peoples Natural Gas Co.; on evenings and weekends, you can find her spending time with her “Little,” the young person she’s paired with, at Big Brothers Big Sisters, taking mission trips to Guatemala with Saint Richard Parish, working with the Salvation Army and promoting Hispanic cultures as president of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “It’s such a passion to be able to help someone out,” she says. “I never see it as work, that’s for sure.”
Loleda Moman, 42
• Observatory Hill
• Northside Commons Ministry, Northside Christian Health Center, Fineview Citizen’s Council
• Years of Service: 10
Loleda Moman tried to move away from the North Side. She gave other communities in Pittsburgh a chance. There’s just something about her hometown neighborhood, however, that keeps her coming back. “My heart was with the North Side,” says Moman. “I can’t really explain why. I just know it’s a community of people I am definitely connected with.” That connection also includes serving on the board for the Northside Commons Ministry and as director of the Care Connections Ministries at Allegheny Center Alliance Church. “I want to make sure we’re not leaving any gaps,” she says. “I see myself as the bridge.”