Culture News

LMI Volunteer Spotlight Series, Part 1

April 5, 2022

LMI Staff

 

In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we are pleased to recognize a few of our employees and the important work they are doing for the community.

 

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Photo collage of LMI employees volunteering with "National Volunteer Month" text
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Photo of Delta Pelgrim

Delta Pelgrim: Trains, Coaching, and Handbell Choir

Trains. I volunteer with the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Roanoke Chapter National Railway Historical Society to support work with 1950s steam trains. For the Roanoke Chapter, I am on the board, the treasurer, the membership chairman, the communications chairman, and (because I was tired of all the chairman positions) grants czar. I have volunteered with both organizations since the 1970s.

I spent 2/3 of the weekends this past summer in Strasburg, PA, working with a steam engine built in 1950 and was affectionally nicknamed the Bumblebee People Herder because my safety vest made me look like a bumblebee as I coordinated the movement of people all day long. I ensured that no one received a Darwin Award because they were too busy looking at the giant steam locomotive rather than watching where they were going.

This coming summer (2022), I will travel to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, to work with another organization. Stay tuned: I have applied to the Strasburg Railroad as a part-time weekend employee with the goal of becoming the railroad’s first female conductor in active train service.

Delta Pelgrim: Trains, Coaching, and Handbell Choir (continued)

Interview and resume coaching. For Upwardly Global and the University of Maryland, I furnish interview and resume coaching. Upwardly Global assists immigrants in the United States legally who are ready to apply for jobs. With their long-term coach, I help with interviews before the immigrants meet with a company and review resumes to Americanize them. On average, I help two to three individuals a month, currently most are from Afghanistan.

The University of Maryland has hour-long sessions with MBA students to plan their paths. Most of those seeking assistance are first-year students who have a plan but need additional guidance. Near the end of the semester, I work with, on average, two students a week. I have also supported the College of William and Mary in a similar capacity.

Professional handbell choir. I am in a handbell choir unaffiliated with a church. We ring only during the Christmas season with practice between Labor Day and Thanksgiving before holding 10 concerts. I started with the choir in 1993, rang for 10 years, took a break, and am mostly back depending on the season. This past year, as a substitute ringer, I was asked to sight ring a concert 30 minutes before the concert began. You can view concert on the choir’s Facebook page; I am in the back row on the left side.

 

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LMI's Desiree Peyman volunteering

Desiree Peyman: Rallye for Vets

I am the director of Charitable Events for Rallye for Vets, a veteran-founded, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Our mission is to supply direct medical and housing relief funds to veterans while creating unforgettable experiences for service-connected veterans and car enthusiasts, fostering comradery and team spirit between the two groups.

This is a unique organization. Not only do we furnish medical and housing payments for veterans in need at a national level but we design and implement legal road rallies for car enthusiasts. The donor drivers enter the rallye knowing the start and end location but not the route. Rallye for Vets pairs them with a veteran navigator. The drivers rely on their navigators to follow the specially designed route to the finish line.

Desiree Peyman: Rallye for Vets (continued)

Our events bring joy to veterans and car enthusiasts. We end each rallye with live music, a winners’ circle with trophies, and a ton of celebration. When I call mortgage companies to pay the debt for veterans in need, the companies are always happily surprised by the generosity. But the more satisfying call goes to the veterans, who don’t have to worry about being evicted due to a few hard months. It’s an unbelievable feeling. Our veteran aid spans eras: we’ve helped those from the Korean War to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I coordinate with vendors, draft all marketing materials, manage relationships, and ensure that we’re good stewards of our donations. I also manage our sponsorships and grant applications. I do it all because giving back is important.

Our next rallye is from DC Prime in Ashburn, VA, to Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, VA, on May 1. I’m so excited to host another fundraising event. Last year (our first year of operation), we raised over $60,000. We (the founder and CEO is my husband) have no staff. It’s a passion project.

www.rallyeforvets.org | Rallye for Vets Returns with More Routes | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWSR8T9YHcc

Rallye for Vets logo

 

— Desiree Peyman

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Rainbow ribbon shaped into a heart

Eve Meek: Trevor Project Lifeline Counselor

Did you know that acceptance from at least one adult can decrease the risk of LGBTQ+ youth attempting suicide by 40%? I learned that during my 10-week virtual training course to become a Trevor Project Lifeline Counselor. After years of quietly supporting friends and family, I finally stepped up to help other LGBTQ+ youth in America who don’t have family or other support systems to help them through crisis. As a lifeline counselor, I answer calls from LGBTQ+ young people who reach out to the Trevor Project's 24/7 lifeline when feeling suicidal, in crisis, or in need of a safe, non-judgmental person to talk with. 

Whether it’s your family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor, you are connected to someone in the LGBTQ+ community.

For more information about the Trevor Project, or if you're interested in supporting LGBTQ+ youth in crisis,please visit:https://www.thetrevorproject.org/contact-us/.

— Eve Meek

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Close of photo of a hors

Jessica Andrade: Triple H Equitherapy

Every Saturday, I volunteer as a horse handler for the Riding to Independence program at Triple H Equitherapy in Pipe Creek, TX. I started as a veteran attending the Horse Power for Heroes program with a women’s group in March 2021. What interested me about the group therapy program was the free access to horses for veterans. After graduating from the basic and advanced courses with veteran groups, I stuck around. Knowing the program’s heavy dependance on volunteers as well as how good it was, I had to come back and help.

But I came back for other reasons as well, including the complete closeness I felt with God when on the ranch. The major reward for me is zero stress from the minute I arrive at Backhaus Road. When one of the fathers of a client asked me how my day was, I said "Being out here is like eating ice cream, it's hard or almost impossible to be upset or stressed while enjoying the moment." 

Jessica Andrade: Triple H Equitherapy (continued)

I spend days on the ranch being thankful for life, for the way we are made, and all the differences that encompass us. Some days, I find odd comfort in the silence of mindless labor, such as sweeping the barn or mucking out stalls. When I return for a new work week, I feel reset and accomplished while working toward self-actualization.

This past December 7, I was invited to a volunteer appreciation dinner that recognized me as Rookie of the Year.

My volunteer work is not only financially helpful to a ranch with 3-–4 full-time employees with an even greater number of clients but to LMI as well. Most of my learning experiences for volunteering involved breathing, improving patience, and working on communication skills adaptable to each person; those skills are useful for working with others in any organization.

 

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Photo of Maria Noble

Maria Noble: Pregnancy Help Center

I have volunteered at the Pregnancy Help Center of Galveston, TX, for nearly 2 years, teaching practical classes on topics of body, mind, and spirit, including Bible lessons and parenting skills.

Giving of my time, resources, and life experiences is as rewarding for myself as for our clients. It's amazing to become a part of someone's life and encourage and support them! I am happy to give back knowing how others have come, encouraged, and helped me in the past.

LMI employees can serve society not only through our work but also through our social contributions. I am proud to be with a company that acknowledges the importance and benefits of volunteering! It truly makes us whole.

— Maria Noble

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