- The Not So Glamorous Side of Volunteering
- Nobody Said Volunteering Was Glamorous
- Please understand that volunteer work is not glamorous
- A lot of what volunteers do is not glamorous
- Volunteering and its labor are not always glamorous
It would appear from the above entries that the general conclusion about volunteering is that, although a noble gesture, it certainly is NOT to be deemed as a “glamorous” endeavor. Many people view volunteer work as being dull or lackluster or unglamorous. Because of this perception, is often a hard-sell for nonprofits to recruit volunteers, especially young people, to help carry out their mission.
However, one national nonprofit organization is turning that preconceived notion on its head and is proving that volunteering can actually be very GLAMOROUS! “Pin-Ups For Vets” Founder, Gina Elise, is leading the way to inspire young women to step forward to volunteer and gladly follow her into the wards of VA and military hospitals across the United States.
Young women who have previously hesitated or even rejected the idea of stepping into the wards of hospitals to visit those patients with burns, amputations, post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and terminal illnesses, are now lining up and coming forward in large numbers to offer Pin-Up-In-Chief, Gina Elise, a helping hand, as she makes it her mission to visit hospitalized Veterans in every state in the U.S.A.
Who is this “pied piper” of volunteers? Gina Elise does not look like your typical CEO. She can usually be found wearing 1940’s liberty rolls in her hair, bright red lipstick and matching nail polish, high heel platform shoes, WWII era fashions, and a big colorful flower tucked behind her ear. She has been dubbed by U.S. troops as “the calendar angel” and “the Betty Grable of a new generation”. The deployed troops have painted her name on a military helicopter and have flown 9 American flags in her honor over bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. A Veteran, who had suffered a traumatic brain injury and had not spoken in a month, finally spoke his first words to pin-up girl, Gina Elise, as she stood at his bedside during a hospital visit. VA Hospitals are enthusiastic in their praise of Gina Elise who inspires hospitalized Veterans to say: “When you are here, my pain is gone!”
Since Gina Elise began her Veterans’ project in 2007, she has made it her mission to visit hospitalized Veterans in all 50 states, as well as overseas. She personally delivers the popular“ Pin-Ups For Vets” calendars that she produces each year, along with the “Kiss A Vet” T-shirts, as well as the posters and playing cards donated by her organization’s supporters for the ill and injured Veterans. To the delight of the Veterans, she often places lipstick kisses on their birthday calendar dates when she presents them with the donated calendar gifts.
Seven years ago when Gina Elise first founded the “Pin-Ups For Vets” project, she decided to reintroduce the 1940’s pin-up girl that had become a morale-boosting icon for the troops fighting overseas during WWII. She had always admired the nose art on the WWII planes and bombers, and she wanted to do something special to honor her own grandfather’s WWII service in the U.S. Army. She studied the glamorous paintings of famed pin-up artists, Elvgren and Vargas, and then she became the sole model in the pin-up photos featured in the first six annual “Pin-Ups For Vets” fundraiser calendars. The proceeds from her calendars would then go to VA Hospitals to help them purchase new rehabilitation equipment for their therapy programs.
People here in the U.S. and across the globe suddenly began to take notice and started faithfully following Elise’s hospital and military base visits in the photos shown on her website and on her Facebook page. Decked out in her WWII style pin-up girl costume, rolled hair, and bright make-up, Elise looked like she was actually having fun as she made her way from one hospital to the next. All of a sudden, volunteering to visit hospitalized Veterans looked glamorous, eye-catching, fascinating, appealing, alluring, exciting, and desirable! Young women across the U.S. began contacting Gina Elise, in large numbers, to find out how they, too, could join her on her visits to thank America’s ill and injured Veterans. Many of these young women admitted to being big fans of the 1940’s pin-up girl look, and they wanted to emulate Elise’s chic style and to volunteer to accompany her as she made the rounds of hospital wards all over the country.
One of the mission goals of the popular nonprofit organization, “Pin-Ups For Vets”, is to encourage volunteerism in VA and military hospitals. When Elise first began her visits to the VA and military hospitals in 2007, she noticed that young volunteers were not to be found in the halls of these medical facilities. Over the last seven years, after making personal visits to over 5000 hospitalized Veterans, Pin-Up-In-Chief Gina Elise has shown young women that volunteering can indeed be glamorous and satisfying and memorable. Young women who had previously refused to visit hospital wards are now turning out in numbers to contact Elise and inquire how they, too, can become a “Pin-Ups For Vets” calendar girl volunteer. Elise also reports that young women across the country are also contacting her to find out how to start their own “Pin-Ups For Vets” chapters in their states to help raise funding for hospitalized Veterans and to organize visits by local pin-up calendar girls to VA and military hospital patients.
There is no question that “Pin-Ups For Vets” Founder, Gina Elise, has put the GLAMOUR back into volunteering, and that is a good thing for hospitalized Veterans across the U.S.Share This: