Thrivers Give Back

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart.”

– Elizabeth Andrews

Two of Thrive’s participants show how big their hearts are on a weekly basis. For Camille Vigeant and Bobby Spirio, volunteering has become a wonderful way to give back and they’ve learned firsthand how helping others impact their own lives.

This summer, when the Marlborough Summer Lunch Program was in need of help, Camille stepped up. Every Thursday she would walk to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Marlborough, usually arriving early. Serving as many as 70 children and adults a day, Camille worked alongside other volunteers to assemble then distribute free lunches.

Camille Vigeant and Thrive’s Family & Individual Support Director Nanette Goldstein assembling lunches.

Camille’s favorite part of the day was, “helping the people, especially the kids.” Over the course of the summer, she bonded with many of the families that stopped in and loved learning about their lives. Fellowship leader Kathleen Demers raved, “Camille is very helpful and all of us at the fellowship have enjoyed having her help out every week. It’s been a blessing to work with and get to know her.” The program closed in August but Camille is looking forward to helping out next summer and reconnecting with the new friends she’s made.

For Bobby Spirio giving back comes in a different form. He touches not only human lives but also lives of people’s beloved pets. Four years ago, after retiring from Marlborough Public Schools where he worked for 36 years, Bobby accompanied his brother, Robert, to Marlboro Animal Hospital with their pet cat. Following the visit, Bobby became a greeter at the hospital. He also recently brought his skills to Berlin Animal Hospital in Berlin, MA where he works in the same capacity.

Bobby greeting a patient at Marlborough Animal Hospital with veterinarian Dr. Karen Patti.

Having grown up on a farm and being an animal lover, volunteering at the animal hospital was a natural fit. As greeter, Bobby not only welcomes clients, he also assists the technicians with weighing and administering to animals, assists with prescriptions, and on occasion observes minor surgeries. But Bobby’s favorite part of volunteering is when the clients (pets) are ready to leave. ” I like to play with and pat the dogs, then I give them treats when they are ready to leave. All the dogs love me!” declared Bobby.

As volunteers, Camille and Bobby have found a way to give back in a way that’s meaningful to each of them personally. This is not only enriching their lives but connecting them with their community. They’re setting a wonderful example of how Thrive participants are giving back and leading lives filled with well-lived moments.