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Volunteer of the Month - Stacey Raffi

by Aidan Krantz
October 19, 2018

Each month, Give Back to Givers honors a “Volunteer of the Month” to highlight his/her service and dedication to the town of Holliston and to show how important volunteerism is to the Town.

Volunteering has been part of my life since as far back as I can remember.

My parents and grandparents instilled in my siblings and me the need to be respectful, the need to work hard, and the need to think of others before self.  They led by example in many different ways.  Both my mom and my now 99 year old nana have said and continue to say "it is better to give than to receive" and they are so right because in giving, I am receiving!

My elementary school memories revolve around my family's participation in our parish community of St. Francis of Assisi in my hometown of Medford.  My siblings and I were  altar servers and choir members.  

In high school, I was a member of Teens Serving the Elderly, Students Against Drunk Driving (I think I'm dating myself here!) and the Key Club,  volunteer organizations that included making weekly contact whether it be a visit or a call with my "senior" friend Ms. Marguerite for my entire high school career.  Key Club, the junior version of the Kiwanis Club, was another volunteer organization - we organized clothing, food, and blood drives.  My high school's mission was to "Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly with our God" and we were afforded many opportunities throughout our years there to volunteer and do for others. Thank you, Arlington Catholic!!

In my "just graduated from college years," I taught religious education at St. Cecilia's in Ashland and was a part of their Confirmation Retreat team.  I spent many hours raking leaves with students for their service hours.  In those years, I was able to get back into one of my passions -- figure skating.  I was employed part-time by a local figure skating club for several years and then became the director.  During that time, I had opportunities to share my love of skating with many students but in particular, a few students who did not have the financial means to participate in the sport.  That is one of my most proud and fond experiences.

In my 20's, I was employed by MathWorks and they have a corporate social mission and core values that promote staff volunteerism and giving  to your community.  I can't even count the many memories that I have of my now husband and MathWorks family.  For nine years, we participated in Boston Cares days -- painted schools in Boston, cleaned up parks in Worcester, provided Blizzards of Gifts for Natick Youth and Family Services, Fall and Spring yard clean ups and donated babysitting hours for our auctions...so many meaningful and fun times with special people for special people. Some of the experiences, like visits to the Pine Street Inn, keep me grounded.  I have everything I need, all the basic human necessities and much, much more, and for that I am grateful and in turn assist those who do not.

After the birth of my first son in the Fall of 2006, I became a stay at home mom and at the time we were fairly new to Holliston.  In addition to my skating club, I needed something else to fulfill ME!.  I joined the Holliston Business Association and asked if I could join the dynamic planning trio Diane Marrazzo, John Paltrinieri, and Donna Cady with the HBA Holiday and Spring Strolls. The Holiday Stroll kicks off the excitement of the holiday season!  Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?  It's truly an event that brings magic and joy into our community.  There were some other cool events that we put on over the years (Brewfest, Monte Carlo Night, and Hypnotist) to raise funds for the Community Action Fund; a grant program for Holliston residents in need.  

When my children started school,  I joined the Parent Teacher Organization.  I believe that  happy, healthy teachers who feel supported = a quality education for students.  Isn't that true for everyone?  When we feel appreciated and supported we tend to give more than 100%! So that's what I hope to achieve when I support our teachers by providing supplies on their wish lists, or help with an activity in the classroom, or give them a big welcome back hug at the PTO Back to School Breakfast. My favorite events to volunteer at are the book fairs (how can you not love a book fair?) and teacher appreciation week!  Currently, I'm one of the Volunteer Coordinators for the Elementary PTO and looking for someone to shadow me next year as it will be my final year as an elementary parent (yikes!)!

In the Winter of 2014, I thought it was time to dabble in local politics not because I want to be a politician (no thanks), but because I'm a firm believer in being part of the solution, not the problem.  It is so very easy to complain especially with social media platforms.  I'm more of a take action kinda gal.  With my baby going into Kindergarten, it was the perfect time to run for a School Committee seat.  Never did I ever imagine that I would learn so much about public education,  nor did I think that I would work with my State Representative or State Senator.  I'm currently serving my second year of my second, three- year term.  

Volunteering gives me an opportunity to lead by example for my children.

Volunteering continues to give me:  new friendships, JOY, fulfillment, gratefulness, sense of accomplishment, opportunities to do something for the greater good, and volunteering reminds me to be selfless instead of selfish.  

If any of these rewards are interesting to you, I encourage YOU to volunteer too!  

 

Give Back to Givers is a 501(c)(3) certified nonprofit whose mission is to promote the spirit of volunteerism in Holliston by organizing ways for people to show their appreciation to Holliston’s many volunteers. 

 

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Comments (3)

Congratulations, Stacey! Well-deserved as you are magically everywhere-I'm prefty sure you've cloned yourself somewhere along the way! Nicely written. Thanks for all you do.

- Christel DiPippo | 10/19/18 12:36 PM

Congrats Stac -- Everywhere the Holliston Reporter covers - there is Stacey Raffi, the poster girl for volunteerism in Holliston, thanks for giving of your time so freely.

- Bobby Blair | 10/19/18 7:43 AM

Congratulations, Stacey! This is a well-deserved recognition. In your volunteer activities, I have always found you to be organized, efficient, very well prepared, helpful to everyone, and - very importantly - pleasant with everyone.

- Tom Anguish | 10/19/18 7:22 AM

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