By: Kristina Mehegan, GSA 2020 Class of Millyard Museum; GSA Intern
Two weekends ago, I volunteered at the New Hampshire State Home Show, which the New Hampshire Builder’s Association’s website proudly declares to be “The Longest Running Show North of Boston.” The show ran through the entire Doubletree Expo Center and Ballroom/Armory and was a truly impressive display of vendors representing various aspects of the home industry. I saw booths for New England Closets, Coventry Log Homes, and Newfound Woodworks, to name just a few, and a life-size tiny house was even on display!
GSAs were all over the event, working in Ticket Sales and Traffic Security, and we also had volunteers helping with the Junior LEGO Build. 13 kids, ages 5-7, worked tirelessly on their LEGO creations for one hour on Saturday. GSAs Donna Kirouac and Sue Geyer helped supervise the kids, running LEGOs to and fro as the young builders worked. First, second, and third place winners for the best creation received gold, silver, and bronze trophies, shaped like LEGO men.
I had the opportunity to get to know a couple of GSAs working the event on Saturday. Nancy Shearer, GSA Class of Quality Inn, Manchester 2016, was working Traffic Security at the entrance of the Expo Center, making sure everyone who entered was wearing their wristbands, which granted them admission to the expo. “Good morning!” she said with a genuine smile to every single visitor (and there were a lot!). “May I see your wristband? There’s a daily door prize if you’re interested!”
“My house has plenty of doors,” joked one gentleman, shaking his sleeve aside so Nancy could see his wristband.
A few minutes later, a lady came to show us a lightbulb set she’d just purchased “for only $10!” She was thrilled with her find and was delighted with the expo. I was amazed at the overall excitement and energy! Our GSAs, too, were performing their simple tasks energetically, with nothing but appreciation for what they were doing.
At the event, I asked Nancy and a few other GSAs what they liked best about working with the organization. Nancy remarked, “I love the flexibility.” She enjoys the fact that GSAs can schedule volunteering around their lives. “In the summer I like to golf,” she said. GSA Kathi Daigle, Morgan Franklin Fellowship Class of 2019, said that it’s a great way to meet new people. She told me she is semi-retired but has always loved volunteering, and she loves the social aspect of being a GSA.
Jean McGiffin, Class of 2006 Manchester Radisson, was the last GSA I spoke with at the Home Show. She said her favorite thing about the organization was still the delicious brownies and chocolate chip cookies served at her training—fourteen years ago!