The Spirit of Volunteerism

Dear Friends,

Margaret Mead, the cultural anthropologist, once remarked “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ASF was launched at a fund raiser around a Laguna Beach backyard swimming pool by a small group of volunteers who saw an emerging crisis and no response in sight. I think the founders of ASF are exactly the type of people Mead was talking about.

Recently ASF had the opportunity to honor another group of volunteers for their sustaining service to the agency. Judy Fluor Runels has volunteered with ASF for 20 years and has been a supporter and underwriter of major fund raising events such as The Big Splash and now Red Ball. We also saluted several 15-year volunteers including Stuart Baron, Leslie Barry, Ray McElroy, Erica McElroy, Dale Jenkins, Janice Johnson, and David Merino. I think Mead would have had these folks in mind as well. (The next issue of The Voice includes a list of all of our honorees on the Around ASF page.)

Last fiscal year, volunteers donated 26,574 hours of service and collectively represented the equivalent of nearly 13 full-time employees. The dollar value of this assistance was $622,363.08, which is based on the Independent Sector’s 2009 valuation of $23.42 per volunteer hour in California. This is an amazing amount of support ASF receives. And the challenge of fewer resources makes these volunteer hours all the more valuable to us.

If you are an ASF volunteer we’d like to know what you enjoy most about your experiences at the agency. I invite you to send me an email. We’ll post your responses on the site.

Philip Yaeger
Executive Director/CEO

  • I have always done volunteer work for many organizations. None of my time has been as valuable an experience as working for ASF. I think this is because I see immediate results from the clients that walk through the doors. I have reception duty only 1 afternoon a week, and enjoy seeing the clients get the benefits of the many services that ASF provides. My husband and I always helped putting the holiday gift baskets together. I’m so sorry that this was one of the programs that got eliminated. It was so rewarding to know that so many had a brighter holiday because of the many donations that were provided. We also helped on the night of Splash and will continue to help with the silent auction at Red Ball. These truly are rewarding experiences.



Thanks so much for your response, and the many hours you and Bob volunteer with us. I love seeing you every Thursday at the front desk. Thanks again for everything you do.


  • I absolutely love volunteering at ASF! I’ve been working at the front desk since I first began and have had the privilege of meeting the majority of the staff and working with many of the clients. I cannot say enough good things about the people here. Everyone made me feel welcome right away with their warm and enthusiastic energy, and I never felt out of place. I’ve witnessed firsthand how perfectly and professionally the staff has taken care of clients, to get to the heart of the issues and begin finding a solution. I can tell they honestly care about each and every one they talk to and have seen how clients have taken notice when they choose to drop by the center, simply to share some good news or to have someone to listen for a while.


Hi Cheryl,

Thanks so much for your response. I’m glad to hear that we succeeded at making you feel welcome when you first joined us. As a volunteer at our reception desk, you are a valuable part of that circle of care that our clients feel when they walk through our doors. Thank you for being a part of who we are here at ASF.



  • 17982 Sky Park Circle
  • Suite J
  • Irvine, CA 92614-6482


  • AIDS Services Foundation Orange County
  • (PHONE) 949-809-5700
  • (FAX) 949-809-5779


  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:30 am to 5:00 pm