Volunteer Profiles

EMW Volunteers in Their Own  Words

Volunteers past and present, from a variety of EMW programs and offices, describe what service means to them.

My-Anh Ha
Fundraising, Oakland, CA
Post-graduate student from Duke University
“Working with the Oakland staff allows me to gain insights about how the organization operates its overall management responsibilities from the headquarters office. Having learnt about the great achievements of the organization, I was not surprised to see first-hand how professional and dedicated the staff is. It has been such a rewarding experience to work with a group of people who are passionate, innovative and supportive in an encouraging and fun environment.”

Gary Field-Mitchell
Water Manager, Ho Chi Minh City
Engineers Without Borders
“Volunteering your time for a worthy cause is not only good for the organization that you are working with but it is really good for yourself as well. It makes you a happier and mentally healthier person. You can’t get the same level of fulfillment from a commercial organization: this is one of those things money can’t buy!”

Stephanie Wang
Graphic Design, Hanoi
English teacher, blogger (chasingendlessdays. blogspot.com),  graphic design
“In general, volunteering is one of the most inspiring experiences a person can have. When you devote your time to help others, it will be an inspiration and cause a ripple effect among everyone else. Personally, the appreciation I receive is enough. A simple ‘thank you,’ makes me smile and that’s all I need. I always feel happy, accomplished, and fulfilled after doing volunteer work. Because of those feelings, I want to keep volunteering for who knows how long.”

Catherine Ganley
Quality Manager, Hanoi
Engineers Without Borders

“As an international volunteer you get so much out of the experience of living in another country. International humanitarian work—helping others—makes volunteering a very life-enriching experience. Whilst living in Vietnam I have been to some of the poorer provinces and seen what real poverty is like. This experience puts life into perspective and makes many of the things back home seem trivial to me now. I have also had the opportunity to visit many places in Vietnam and have seen how beautiful the country is.”

Larry Glendinning
Administrative Support, Oakland, CA
Retired school principal; former Peace Corps volunteer

“I am amazed at the ‘bang for the buck’ that EMW gets for such programs as SPELL (which is my favorite); small amounts of money make large differences in children’s lives. I have been to Vietnam several times and have a very warm feeling for the country and the people. I like being able to contribute in a positive way to a country that was historically very badly treated by the U.S. I like to learn new skills and make new friends; both have been my rewards for volunteering.”

Mel Potter
Fundraising, Dental Program
Retired Corrections Off icer
“Volunteering has been a rewarding part of my life the past 12 years. When asked by others why I give so much energy to something I don’t get any monetary reimbursement for, I have to wonder if they have ever experienced a child with nothing other than a few pieces of clothing, one meal a day and no medical care. By giving a little of myself, I receive more back than any paycheck could provide—a child’s smile or a mother’s tears of joy is a treasure I can keep f




“I first became involved with East Meets West after making a visit to their Village of Hope in 1997...I have been connected ever since. To be involved with the staff of EMW, and the children of the orphanages, has been an emotional, healing experience.”

- Dan Knox, Vietnam War Veteran and EMW Donor

Read more testimonials

East Meets West

1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1420, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 1-800.561.3378  |  Tel: 510-763-7045  |  Fax: 510-763-6545

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