ELLIE: So Mr. Waffles?
ELLIE: Glogirly said she's volunteering again this week. What's a volunteering?
WAFFLES: You mean a volunteer.
ELLIE: That's what I said.
WAFFLES: A volunteer is like a helper. Someone who helps someone who needs help.
ELLIE: So are you a volunteer when you "help" me with my breakfast.
WAFFLES: Well I hadn't really thought of it that way, but yes. I'm here for you whenever you need help eating your breakfast.
ELLIE: But what if I don't need help eating my breakfast? Doesn't that just make you a–
WAFFLES: Yes! A breakfast volunteer!!
ELLIE: I was thinking breakfast thief.
Glogirly's a Volunteer Ski Instructor!
Waffles has a pretty mixed up interpretation of what it means to be a volunteer. But Glogirly feels as though she's found her calling.
A year and a half ago, she was inspired by a good friend to try downhill skiing again after a 30 year hiatus. She learned how to ski in high school, but only because of the cute boys in ski club. She skied a little bit in her 20s, but never had a chance to take any lessons or get much beyond the bunny hill. But now that we live in the Rocky Mountains, just a few steps away from some of the best skiing in the country, she thought it might be worth giving it a try again. With the help and encouragement of her friend Bob, she not only realized she CAN still ski, but that she LOVES it.
She took as many lessons as she could, joined a women's ski group, gets out as much as she can to practice. Last season she hit a total of 80 ski days.
On one of those days, she noticed some skiers wearing neon blue and green coats that read, Ignite Adaptive Sports
on the back. They were helping other skiers, many of which appeared to be disabled. She noticed there were usually 2-4 of the Ignite skiers with a student and thought how wonderful it was that they were helping people enjoy the sport and the beauty of the mountains. When she checked them out online, she found that all of the instructors and assistants are volunteers. Glogirly is no expert skier, but she thought she would be proficient enough to be able to help.
Their mission is to ignite personal growth, independence, and confidence in people with disabilities by providing caring, safe, and fun adaptive winter snowsports opportunities.
Last December, Glogirly attended their on-mountain training clinics and just recently assisted with her first lesson. She's an Assistant Alpine Ski Instructor. She assists a lead instructor and their athlete (student) by helping the athlete get et up with their equipment, making them feel comfortable, and assisting the lead instructor with the lesson and training.
It's been so much fun for her and incredibly rewarding. Ignite gives people that ordinarily would never have a chance to experience the joy and exhilaration of skiing, that very experience. Athletes range in age from 8-80, and virtually no disability is turned away. Glogirly has already worked with a stroke survivor and traumatic brain injury survivor. Some athlete are blind, some deaf, some paralyzed or autistic, or PTSD survivors. Many are veterans.
Glogirly's inspiration for volunteering with Ignite is her dad and stepson. They were both US Marines. To her, this is a way to honor their service and help those who have sacrificed so much. It's also a chance for her to share her joy of the sport and love of the mountains.