National Volunteer Month serves as a pivotal reminder of the invaluable contributions volunteers make to communities nationwide. Throughout April, we’re celebrating the selflessness, dedication, and impact of those who generously give their time, skills, and resources to support the causes and organizations they believe in. National Volunteer Month not only honors those individuals who devote themselves to volunteerism, but also inspire others to join in and find a cause they’re passionate about. Talia Hammer, manager, network development, OCONUS MFLC/PFC, is an active volunteer with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support. Talia was also the first-place recipient of the Barry Smith Caring Award and was awarded a $5,000 donation for Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss, an organization that has significant meaning to Talia. Continue reading to learn more about the volunteer work Talia does with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss:

What volunteer work do you participate in and for what organizations?

I am currently very active in volunteering with Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support to help parents who have experienced the heartache of a pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or infant death. I became a trained Parent Companion and co-facilitate grief support groups offering peer support to other bereaved families. I served on the Parent Panel and was filmed telling my story at a Sharing and Caring Training to trained professionals in the community to learn how to serve families at their time of loss. I became Share’s first Social Media Ambassador to increase awareness about Share and baby loss through personal advocacy on Facebook and Instagram. I volunteer with an open heart and generosity of my time serving on event planning committees, help with the annual walk, plan, and volunteer at fundraisers. I am the Secretary of the Social Board and attend every Share event and I organize a donation drive yearly on my daughter’s birthday to give items to the Share office in honor of her.

How did you get involved with this organization and volunteering in general? How long have you been volunteering?

In November 2016, our daughter was born at 32 weeks gestation and lived for 35 minutes as she was born with no kidneys. After the loss of my daughter, I turned to Share for help with my grief. Two years later, I decided I wanted to give back to other grieving parents. I have been volunteering with Share for the past 5 years. Volunteering with Share is how I keep my daughter’s memory alive.

Why is it important for others to volunteer in their communities?

It is important for others to volunteer in their community as there are many non-profit organizations that depend on volunteers to help the organization operate daily and to give back to the community in need. With the wide range of organizations that need volunteers, I believe there is something out there for everyone to volunteer and to give their time.  Find the organization or organizations that is closest to your heart and donate your time to them as they will forever be thankful for all the help they receive. When you find commonality with others who have experienced what you have, volunteering will come so easily.

Is there anything else about what National Volunteer Week you’d like to highlight (could also highlight specific organization)?

In 2023, I received the Heart and Hands volunteer of the year award from Share. Statistics show that 1 in 4 families experience pregnancy/infant loss and I’m honored to partner with Share to help bereaved parents find hope and healing, all while honoring my daughter’s life. I feel very luck to work for Magellan who also gives us Volunteer Time Off (VTO) hours to be able to help our community. I appreciate the opportunities Magellan offers to us to help make the world a better place.