BY BTL STAFF
FERNDALE – Affirmations has been incredibly fortunate to receive the support of volunteers since their founding in 1989. Volunteers work throughout the community center performing a variety of tasks. In a brief Q&A, Affirmations’ volunteer Jeffrey Oliver talks about his deep commitment to volunteering.
How long have you volunteered at Affirmations?
I have volunteered at Affirmations for 17 years. I started back in 2001.
What made you want to get involved with Affirmations’ volunteering program?
I came to Affirmations as a center user in 2001. I was newly out and wanted to connect with other gay men, so I attended the men’s group. I got started volunteering because two lesbian friends of mine cornered me in the library and asked me to volunteer. Of course, I agreed.
Why is volunteering important to you?
Volunteering is important to me because Affirmations was there for me when I needed support. It’s also important to me because I never want LGBTQ+ individuals to go through the same experience that I had when I came out alone.
Are you involved with any specific groups at Affirmations, aside from volunteering?
Currently, I facilitate Men’s Discussion, Coming Out Over Coffee, as well as the LGBTQ Book and Film Club. I also volunteer twice a week at the Welcome & Resource Desk. For me, Affirmations is like a journey that just keeps getting better and better.
What are you passionate about outside of your volunteer work?
Outside of volunteering, I am an extremely passionate animal lover. I raise tropical parrots and aquarium fish. I also really enjoy swimming, yoga, and gardening.