National Volunteer Appreciation Week: Spotlight on Maryland

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and we’re celebrating people in action to Stop Diabetes®. Time to hear from Kathy and Leo, who work together in the Baltimore area.

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Kathy and Leo from Maryland

Rally to Stop Diabetes at the Maryland State House. L to R: Leo Williams, Kathy Rogers, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Maryland Community Initiatives Chair Joe Diangelo

Simply put, without our volunteers our area wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is. Whether it’s our day-of event volunteers, committee members or board members, each person makes a difference.

People from other organizations often ask me how we engage so many corporate sponsors in our events. A quick look at our board roster tells the story. Their involvement also significantly drives corporate team participation and we appreciate how important they are to our success.

My board chair, Leo Williams, leads by example with his company and personal involvement on every level. Leo served as the chair of my Community Initiatives Committee for several years before becoming chair, so he connects with all aspects of our organization. Committee volunteers make a huge difference in our events and programs.

With a small staff, we rely on our volunteers to take a large role in event and mission delivery. Simply put, our volunteers and supporters are our raison d’etre.

Kathy Rogers
Executive Director
American Diabetes Association, Maryland Area

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I was 29 years old when my best friend since our first year in high school called me with the news.

“My mom,” he said, “had her left leg amputated today. Diabetes was the cause.” One year later, the doctors took her right leg. Ever since I was 15 years old, she had been like a second mother to me—always there. A few years later, diabetes took her from us. She wasn’t there anymore.

That was my first up-close and personal encounter with the insidious beast we know as diabetes. The impression it made on me has lasted a lifetime.

For many years since, as a corporate executive, I’ve had the great opportunity to “pay it forward” by engaging with the American Diabetes Association in the fight to Stop Diabetes. As an African American, I have the chance to make a positive impact on Americans in general, plus leave a very special mark on the communities throughout this great country of ours that are disparately affected by diabetes.

Few things feel as good, or do as much good, as what the Association strives to do day in and day out. To be a part of it, through volunteering, is an ever-so-special gift.

Leo Williams III
Chair, Community Leadership Board
American Diabetes Association, Maryland Area

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Want to help us Stop Diabetes? Sign up at our new online Volunteer Center to be matched to an opportunity in your area.

Know an outstanding American Diabetes Association volunteer? Be sure to tell us about them in the comments below!

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