How Can One Afford to Volunteer on a Full-Time Basis?

Precious Dreams Foundation is a representation of the amount of love I have for my little sister and all of the children in transition throughout the world.   The New York based non-profit is the biggest passion project I’ve ever committed myself to and I’ve never worked harder on anything in my entire life.  When you find something you’ll do without pay, then that is where you’ll discover your purpose.  I have found so much purpose in providing assistance to our most vulnerable youth.

Most of our partners, the recipients of our bags and some of our donors have no idea that I actually have another full-time job.  What I do outside of Precious Dreams Foundation is also important and it’s oddly the exact opposite of what I choose to do for free.  At Madison Square Garden, there are two VIP clubs that host celebrities, sponsors and important figures that sit courtside on game nights.  Access to these clubs can come at the price of approximately $3,600 per ticket on a Knicks night.  When you sit courtside, a level of premium hospitality and privacy is provided at MSG that can’t be found anywhere else.  I work alongside the Jean-Georges company as the Manager that ensures our highest paid ticket holders enjoy a delightful meal, top of the line service and find comfort during their visit to the World’s Most Famous Arena.

The level of comfort and expectations one would have when sitting on the floor at MSG are high and we’ve put together a team of professional and gracious individuals who tackle the task night after night.  The expectations are quite the opposite for youth from Precious Dreams Foundation, who walk into each Comfort Drop doubtful, curious and often expecting nothing at all from our volunteers.  When I’m volunteering with Precious Dreams, I have 1 hour to make my presence impactful and there’s no Knicks or Ranger Game to cap the experience.  The only bonus we provide are the donated comfort items that will accompany the youth as they travel back to their living quarters.

During the day, I dress pretty casual.  I’m visiting shelters, trauma centers and carrying loads of books and comfort bags to deliver much needed hope to children in transition.  By night, it’s impossible to catch me at a game without my 4 inch heels.  My duties include managing and hosting our most important clients at MSG.  I’m (literally) running to approve the food presentation, check the Lobster and make sure our guest list, dessert, kosher, sushi and special deliveries arrive before we open doors.  My days are fulfilling yet long.

I choose to volunteer on a full-time basis because there are thousands of children entering shelters and foster care every year and until the Precious Dreams Foundation budget enables us to provide a better night’s rest for all of them, I can’t afford to donate less of my time.  I’m honored to run the daily operations for this organization and I love the team of heroes that have joined me on this quest.  There are days where I’m tired and mentally drained but I refuse to give up on our city’s youth.  I’m fortunate to sleep in a place I call home and wake up each day going to a job that feels like a dream.  This is the same dream I have for all of the youth I serve.  It’s what I hope they can obtain when they’re old enough to take control of their lives.

I hope you come back to read more about the journey or make a donation to help us further our mission.   🙂

 

-Nicole D. Russell

 

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