September 2016 Volunteer Spotlight: Claire Martin

About Claire: spot-pic

Originally from Canterbury, UK, Claire is now a Toddler teacher at the British International School of Boston where she spends her days teaching and playing with two-year-olds. Claire joined the Boston Cares community in November of 2014 and has since served over 400 hours! She is one of our dedicated Volunteer Leaders and would love to see everyone out at one of her favorite projects: the New England Center and Home for Veterans or the Red Cross Food Pantry.



Creating Positive Change through Leadership

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer to help fight food insecurity and to give back to the community. I feel really privileged to be a part of such a fantastic organization with so many dedicated volunteers.

What is your favorite project/site(s)?

Two of my favorite sites to volunteer at are the New England Center and Home for Veterans and the Red Cross Food Pantry. At the NECHV, I volunteer to serve either breakfast or dinner. At the Red Cross, alongside many other volunteers, I help to prepare and distribute food bags to those in need. Being able to interact with the clients at these projects is great and the gratitude expressed by them is incredibly rewarding. You always go home at the end of a shift feeling like you have made a real difference.

Why did you choose to serve as a Volunteer Leader at Boston Cares?

I began volunteering with Boston Cares when I first moved to Boston nearly two years ago. I had never really done any volunteering before, but when I started I found I couldn’t stop! I love volunteering, giving back to the community and meeting people who have a similar mindset to me. After nearly a year of volunteering, I decided to sign up to become a Volunteer Leader. Becoming a Volunteer Leader has enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the organizations I serve whilst also being able to (hopefully) inspire others to continue to volunteer. I am very passionate about helping to combat food insecurity so being able to lead projects at sites such as food pantries and shelters, not only allows me to give back to the community, it also allows me to fight for something I believe in.

What has been the most meaningful part of your service as a Volunteer Leader?

You can never have a bad day volunteering and seeing the impact your actions have on the people living in the communities in which you serve is so rewarding. Being able to impart some knowledge and excitement to other volunteers is a fantastic feeling.

Why do you think others should become Volunteer Leaders?

If you love volunteering, meeting new people and leading groups of like-minded individuals then I would recommend becoming a Volunteer Leader. Being a Volunteer Leader not only enables you to have a positive impact on the community, it is a great way to hone your leadership skills. Boston is a large area with so much need. Even if you only have time to lead one project a month, it can make the world of difference to someone in need.

Do you have a favorite story about Volunteer Leading you’d like to share?

I don’t have just one favorite story about being a volunteer leader but I have loved leading groups of volunteers at the Red Cross food pantry. Every single volunteer who signs up is a joy to work with and they all come together as a team. On a typical day, we can serve anywhere from 300 to 600 families and it just goes to show the importance of teamwork and dedication. I feel really privileged to be a part of such a fantastic organization with so many dedicated volunteers.

Want to get involved?



Volunteer Leaders (VLs) are an integral part of the Boston Cares experience. They serve as a liaison between volunteers, agency partners, and Boston Cares to ensure the most positive experience possible for all involved. Every project posted on our calendar must first be picked up by a VL – without VLs, there would be no projects on our calendar for volunteers to participate in and to serve our community! Learn more here.

The Boston Cares Volunteer Spotlight features volunteers in action and the projects where they serve. Suggest a Spotlight story idea by filling out this nomination form.