A dedicated volunteer herself, now managing our ever-expanding nationwide army of NephCure supporters, Allison Kostiuk is leading the pack of our Regional Volunteer Communities. Our newest regional initiative is a massive undertaking, but one which Allison sees as an amazing opportunity to help empower people, get patients quicker access to expert care, and ultimately raise more awareness for Nephrotic Syndrome. Allison, NephCure’s Manager of Volunteer Programs, makes it look easy. Find out what makes her job so unique and learn more about our new Regional Volunteer Communities that are changing the game for NephCure.
NephCure: How long have you worked for NephCure?
Allison Kostiuk: From February 2015 to September 2016, I was the Regional Manager for the Eastern Region. I returned to NephCure in March 2018 as a Patient Engagement Manager, and in August 2018 I took on the exciting role of Manager of Volunteer Programs.
NephCure: You’ve recently been involved with creating, managing, and recruiting our volunteer communities. What has that experience been like?
Allison: This has allowed me to be entrepreneurial in my way of doing my day-to-day job, as we have never had this structure before. I love the creativity and the “learning by doing” at times. It has also allowed me to meet some amazing volunteers who have always been supporters of NephCure—when asked to step up and do more, they raised their hands and said “Pick me!” Amazing!
NephCure: Why are volunteers so valuable to an organization like NephCure?
Allison: Volunteers bring such depth to an organization like NephCure, as they bring not only their time and expertise, but first-hand knowledge of living with Nephrotic Syndrome.
NephCure: Can you tell us more about the structure of the volunteer regional communities?
Allison: For this first year, we have 12 Regions in the United States, some bigger than others, but this is a place to start. Each region has a Volunteer Leader, a Regional CEO if you will. The leader will work to manage, motivate and recognize the volunteers while meeting our goals and objectives as an organization. Then we have lead volunteers in Advocacy, Fundraising, Marketing/Communications, Patient Engagement/Support, and Voice of Patient. As new patient families meet us and indicate they want to get involved, a short training per area will occur and they will be introduced to their area lead. Each volunteer will play a role in that region in that area. We are also working to create regions internationally.
NephCure: What excites you most about the future at NephCure?
Allison: This larger corps of volunteers to help us meet our missional goals as an organization and to connect to more folks locally so that they don’t feel so isolated.
NephCure: What are some challenges have you faced with this major task of the regional volunteer communities?
Allison: Some regions are very big geographically, but like I stated above, we had to start some place this first year. Eventually, we would love to see a Regional Leader in each state, with a smaller geographic area to connect. International Regions will also be a challenge, but it is a great need to help connect these families to NephCure.
NephCure: How will these volunteers have an impact on the way NephCure is run?
Allison: NephCure’s biggest asset has always been our volunteers. This new structure will ensure our volunteers feel equipped, supported and recognized for their important roles. This structure can also address local needs more efficiently. If you would like to get involved and volunteer for NephCure, the best way is to reach out to me is via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NephCure: When you’re not focused on volunteers and NephCure, what are you doing?
Allison: Spending time cheering on my four athletic kids and coach husband. I am also a runner and try and get out as much as possible to “get away” from my loud house. I am a volunteer outside of NephCure as well, and because of that, I can truly thank our volunteers for their passion, expertise and hours they dedicate to this cause, to NephCure. I spend my days thanking people. It’s priceless.