RSVP Volunteer Spotlight: Lorraine Ashby, RSVP Volunteer at the National Quilt Museum

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Lorraine Ashby enjoys peace and quiet. That’s why she chose to volunteer at the National Quilt Museum in downtown Paducah.  After moving to Metropolis, Illinois from Northern Illinois, she worked as a 4th grade teacher at St. Mary Elementary, before working at Harrah’s for several years.  Coming from two noisy professions, volunteering at the Quilt Museum, provides her with much needed respite.

The National Quilt Museum is a destination for quilters and art enthusiasts worldwide, annually the museum receive visitors from all 50 US states and over 45 foreign countries from every continent. The museum’s in-facility and traveling exhibits are viewed by over 110,000 people per year.

When asked why she chose to volunteer at the quilt museum, she replied, “I like the peace and quiet and it gives me inspiration to learn different quilting techniques, and the people are nice.” On her off time, she enjoys quilting, although she admits that she is not very good. “I enjoy it and volunteering here allows me to learn something new about the art of quilting.”

She explains one moment in her time volunteering when she was pleasantly surprised by a visit from an old student.  It was a normal, routine day at the museum as she stopped to welcome a group of people as they came in. As she was speaking to them, she came to find out that one of the young men was her former student from the 4th grade class she taught at St. Mary. She said it was good to see him and to see him grown up into a young adult. She led them around and they spent the afternoon discussing quilts. She said that day stood out to her as a good reminder of why she likes volunteering at the Quilt Museum.

Ashby said she has learned a lot about herself through volunteering. She said it has helped her speak up and talk to strangers and getting them to talk about themselves and hearing their stories.  She said without the opportunity to volunteer, she wouldn’t have this outlet.

She says if she could encourage someone else to volunteer, she would say, “Be patient, take your time and follow through.” She added, “It’s important to keep yourself involved.”

Overall, she says, it has been a good experience for her. She has met a lot of nice friends and she enjoys coming to a place where people know her . “I enjoy seeing familiar faces and volunteering through RSVP has given me the outlet I need in this chapter of my life,” she says with a warm smile.

Thank you, Lorraine, for being a dedicated RSVP volunteer!

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