Hope is the Spark that Changes Lives

AFCA Volunteer Profile: Sam Kolinssam

For the last three years Dr. Samuel Kolins has given the first Saturday of the month to the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.

Kolins is a warehouse volunteer, a critical part of AFCA’s mission to provide families in Africa with the resources necessary to live healthily. As he recalls, the first few times he worked with AFCA he reflected on how new the experience was to him.

Kolins first engaged with AFCA after hearing about the organization during a day of Inclusive Excellence Symposium at Lebanon Valley College. Since then he has enjoyed volunteering at the warehouse, organizing and packing supplies to be shipped out to the locations that AFCA supports.

Hailing from the Detroit area, Kolins came to Lebanon Valley College (LVC) to teach mathematics six years ago after finishing his doctorate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He completed his undergraduate studies at Bowdoin College in Maine.

In his free time Kolins is involved with an orienteering club that is setting up a course at Governor Dick State Park near Mount Gretna in Lebanon, Pa. Orienteering involves finding your way around an area with only a map and compass, moving between checkpoints.

Between this and his busy schedule teaching at LVC, Kolins still manages to give time to AFCA volunteering in the warehouse.

Now a seasoned volunteer, Kolins notes situations where he can take the lead in the warehouse, organizing large groups of people in the warehouse to complete tasks efficiently. This involved sorting new donations, staging them for shipping, and loading trucks with the supplies to be sent to Africa.

“There is always a lot to be done, and it is rewarding to feel that your time is used doing something worthwhile,” Kolins said.

When asked if he had ever consider volunteering in Africa, Kolins responded that he has thought about it, and offered a convincing “maybe” as to whether he would volunteer on the ground or not. However, not all that AFCA does hinges on such trips. Much of the aid is carried out behind the scenes in places like the warehouse, where Kolins chooses to volunteer.

Warehouse volunteers like Kolins see the value in their contribution to AFCA, and this is something that cannot be understated. Their activities are integral in seeing that African families get the supplies that they need to survive, and Kolins is a big part of making this happen.


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