Giving back is a passion for Amy Schmidt.
Written by Brianna Soloski
There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities throughout the Las Vegas Valley, but for Amy Schmidt, the two causes closest to her heart are Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) and anything having to do with ALS, a condition from which her brother-in-law suffers.
Volunteerism is in Amy’s blood. In 2010, she met Dr. Florence Jameson, founder of VMSN, who hired Amy as the volunteer director managing volunteers for the free clinic Dr. Jameson opened in Paradise Park. In July 2015, Amy was promoted to executive director in anticipation of the opening of a second VMSN clinic, the Ruffin Family Clinic, last fall.
As someone working in the non-profit sector, it’s hard for Amy to choose just one charity to support, especially since, she says, “Everyone does so much great work.” She has donated to such organizations as VMSN, Three Square, and Catholic Charities, and she tries to attend as many other organizations’ events as she can.
When her brother-in-law was diagnosed with ALS, he came up with a mantra: Do what you can do. Amy and her family try to live that every day. She advises, “It’s not about giving everything up.”
Amy believes giving back to the community isn’t something people should just talk about doing. “It’s one thing to pay lip service to making the community a better place and quite another to actually do something about it,” she says.
Having grown up in the area, Amy feels that Southern Nevada is a wonderful place to live and that there is a sense of community and a sense of giving back.
“We are a giving community, and I care greatly about our community. It’s a bonus to work in an arena that also makes you feel good about what you do every day.”
Giving back doesn’t require a huge time commitment either. “You don’t have to commit a ton of time; even two hours a week can help. Doing things like walks and runs can help your health and help organizations that need your help in a number of different ways,” Schmidt says.
For those interested in volunteering, there are dozens of ways to help. “Whatever your passion is, there are so many opportunities to volunteer. Do something you feel good about!”