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Volunteer Profile: Di Elkin

In November 2012 Di Elkin saw a notice in her apartment building that people from the newly announced “Cleveland & Woodley Park Village” would be coming to the lobby to make a presentation on this new organization in the neighborhood. Recently retired, Di and her husband, Steve, were intrigued by what it might mean for them and their older neighbors. They have been an integral part of the Village ever since!

Di has lived in DC for 45 years, having grown up in England and lived and worked in several European countries. She was not very familiar with “volunteering,” but it drew her as she was aware of people nearby who did not have family and needed help.


She also learned that night that the Village wanted to form group activities for people with similar interests.


Here’s a glimpse of what Di found for her own satisfaction and pleasure:

  • Opportunities to help people by engaging with them in walks and social activities

  • Opportunities to use and develop her photography skills, taking photos of Villagers: laughing together, helping carry groceries, walking in the woods, helping someone get out of a car, chatting in a restaurant, and many more activities

  • French conversation group, drawing on her experience as a French teacher and translator

  • Book group, expanding on her love of reading fiction and non-fiction and discussing books with others

Di and Steve, who has also been a super active volunteer, agree that the Village has enriched their lives beyond what they imagined. Perhaps that’s because they helped do the imagining!


Elizabeth Fox is a Village member and volunteer

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