Volunteer Enjoys Variety of Tasks
Sally Ann “Sam” MacLaughlin Olivier remembers her first experience as a Park Angel was hot. She started volunteering with the Charleston Parks Conservancy in summer 2012 and her assignment was watering Cannon Park. Despite the hot task of watering that summer, she’s remained a faithful volunteer, coming on board recently as one of the Conservancy’s Lead Angels.
Olivier retired from 18 years of teaching digital media arts at an independent school in Rochester, N.Y. She relocated to Charleston and quickly got involved with the Conservancy after a friend shared information about the Aqua Angels summer watering program.
What have you gained personally from being a Park Angel volunteer? Knowledge, camaraderie, exercise and being outdoors. The staff is wonderfully appreciative of volunteers.
What have you learned about Charleston parks and/or gardening from being a Park Angel volunteer? There are so many parks in Charleston, the partnership between the Conservancy and the city and other organizations is a brilliant example of how nonprofits can benefit from cooperation. The variety of projects they sustain – from maintaining existing parks, starting new parks, the vegetable gardening programs, expanding parks, fundraising events – all of it is well done and admirable. All the angels are gifted!
Your favorite Charleston park: That is too hard to answer … maybe Cannon Park.
Why would you recommend others volunteer with the Conservancy? It covers so many bases in volunteering: excellent daily experience and you can see the results of your work. It benefits so many – residents and visitors. And the work is different all year round.