Volunteer of the Month: Cinda

childcare volunteer

"Cinda has been an incredible childcare volunteer at RHF since she started. On numerous occasions she has filled in last minute for a childcare shift in order to ensure our members' kids get well taken care of. Cinda's loving personality rubs off with her contagious smile and laugh; she is a joyful presence to have around the gym, and especially with the kids. Cinda also actively participates in many of our SilverSneakers® classes and recently tried Pilates. We appreciate your dedication to our childcare program Cinda!"~ Marla, RHF Trainer & Volunteer Coordinator

How did you find out about Rainier Health & Fitness?

Cinda: You know it was the craziest thing. I moved in down the road at Rose Street Apartments and I got involved with the pool because five years ago they were just re-opening it. I go to church at First Covenant in Seattle where I do the homeless breakfast so I was not going to change [churches], but one Sunday I couldn’t because my brother was going to pick me up from here, so I said, “I’ll just go down to this church!” So I did and I read in the bulletin “we want help in the daycare.” I thought, “Well I’m just five minutes down the road,” so I came and started volunteering. And then, I said, “Well I work out down at the pool so I’m not going to work out, I’ll just volunteer here.” But then finally after like six months I tried it and I was hooked! I even do Pilates!

So what does your routine look like now? You come to SilverSneakers® every day or a couple times a week?

Cinda: You know, I should do every day. A lot of times I do that and the pool because my friend Vivian, she is doing this and the pool so Vivian will come here and then she drives to the pool. And if she’s not here I can always catch a ride with someone.

What’s your favorite thing about volunteering at Rainier Health & Fitness?

Cinda: The kids. I really enjoy the kids. I lived in a senior building for 25 years so I never saw any kids; it was all older people. I mean, not older but grown. So now I’m thrilled to have all these kids around! Keeps me young!

You mentioned you volunteered at the homeless breakfast...

Cinda: Yes, every Saturday. It’s at my church, which is the same amount of walk from this apartment to here is my old apartment to that church.

What other volunteering things do you do in the community?

Cinda with volunteer yoga instructor, Reilley

Cinda with volunteer yoga instructor, Reilley

Cinda: Oh my gosh. Other people are always telling me you do this and that and the other. The advisory counsel at the Rainier Beach pool. And I got on that because I moved here right in between the two pools. I got on before the pool was open. And then I go with Rainier Avenue Church to do the summer lunch program. I used to live in housing for 25 years and Center Park is housing. So that’s why I know everyone there; not everyone but the involved people because I used to live there. I’m still involved with the resident leadership development team at Seattle housing although I don’t live in Seattle housing. But I was on the team about 10 years ago when we formed so I’m grandfathered in. I’m a meeting junkie. But not so much any more. I used to be. And then now that’s why I’m so happy here, because I’m getting so much more out of it. It’s like the third part of my life now. The first part I was going to school and college, the second part I was volunteering everywhere and all these meetings and now the third part I’m doing stuff for me! I wanna do things that are healthy getting old. Do you want me to tell you about the accident?

Sure, if you want to.

Cinda: Yeah, I can say that the reason I have all this free time. When I was 14 I was hit by a car and in a coma for three months with a traumatic brain injury. Then after three months I had to relearn to walk and talk and do everything. Then I went back to school; I went to school the day I got out of the hospital, after six months. I only went a couple days. It was a really small school so they could deal with me. I just went to like two classes but I graduated with my class. So I went to college but then I found out I couldn’t work because I have memory problems and I can’t use my right hand and so that’s when I decided I would volunteer. And using my training—my degree is in a rehab specialist—but using my training then I volunteer. It’s my calling! It’s where God wants me!