February’s Volunteer of the Month is Elle Langevin, who joined the Preteen Program at D.C. General in the fall of 2015. She has been a dedicated Play Ranger ever since. According to Michelai Lowe, Site Manager at D.C. General, who nominated her: “Elle consistently goes above and beyond to ensure our preteens have a safe place to play. If a light is broken she’ll find a way to fix it. If we need additional help on field trips, she’s there.”
“Most recently, Elle was a tremendous help with a mice issue at D.C. General,” added Michelai. “We weren’t able to have program because of it. She went there every day to clean. Nothing ever has to be asked of Elle, she knows exactly what to do as soon as she walks through the door. No challenge is ever too difficult, no child or volunteer is ever too needy. She’s a great example of what it means to be a Play Ranger.”
Why and when did you initially get involved in Playtime?
I used to work with kids and I missed their energy and wanted to find a way to combine working with kids and volunteering in my community. Playtime was a perfect fit.
How has volunteering with Playtime affected you?
Playtime has definitely given me a different perspective on what homelessness means for children and families. It isn’t solved by just having a place to stay, and the trauma that children experience throughout the process stays with them even after finding secure housing. I have a new appreciation for what privilege and power look like in this city, and it has definitely inspired me to be more of an advocate in any way I can.
Share a memorable moment as a Playtime volunteer.
Too many to count! My favorites are probably bringing the kids out to the park on summer evenings and seeing them just run around and be kids. I love those moments where they can shrug off their stress and anxiety and just relax and be goofy.
What else do you want people to know about your work with Playtime?
Volunteer! It’s fun!