5 Questions with Nicole Oliver
Nicole Oliver is the volunteer coordinator for AIDS Services of Dallas, an organization that provides housing and other services to people with AIDS. She marks her one-year anniversary with the organization next week.
How did you come to work for AIDS Services?
This is actually my first foray into nonprofit work. I had worked in radio for ABC Radio Networks for about six and a half years, and I was looking for something different. I sent my resume to AIDS Services and to another nonprofit in the area. Then I came here for an interview and took a tour of the facilities, and I was just blown away by what they do here. I had never even heard of AIDS Services before, and I was amazed by it.
What do you mean when you say you were looking for “something different”?
I was looking for something to do that would be more fulfilling, something where I could tangibly see the difference I was helping make in someone’s life, and I really get that here. The residents here really appreciate what our volunteers do for them, and I can see that.
What are your duties as volunteer coordinator?
I went to a seminar just recently for volunteer coordinators at nonprofits, and one of the people there called what we do “human resources for unpaid workers,” and that describes it perfectly. That is what I do. I screen the volunteers who come in and assess their skills, and then place them where their skill sets can be best used. We have a huge volunteer base, especially the people who help with our supper clubs, and I am still trying to get to know everyone and put names with faces.
What other things are you involved with?
I am very active in my church. I am the director of the dance ministry for the church, and the church has been very supportive of my work here. My church has been a good volunteer base for me in my work at AIDS Services.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Learning when to say when, and learning to accept that things won’t fall apart if I am not here and that I have to take time for myself. I am single, and I don’t have children, but I do have a life. And I have to remember to actually take time for myself.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Tammye Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.