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YLS Member Spotlight: Alicia Fligg

Jun 3, 2024 | Blog

United Way of Greater Nashville’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) is a network of over 700 young professionals who are passionate about the work of United Way and giving back to their community. As a group, YLS members donate over $1 million annually to United Way through individual gifts of $500 or more.  

Today we are spotlighting YLS board member Alicia Fligg (she/her/hers), an Assistant Project Manager at SSOE. She is an avid volunteer, including being the co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Employee Resource Network and leading the company wide United Way Fundraising campaign at her prior company, Gresham Smith. She is the co-Volunteer Chair of the YLS Board. We interviewed Alicia about her passion for volunteering and advice for those looking to get more involved. 

What prompted you to start volunteering? 

My first significant volunteer commitment began when I moved to a new town and was looking to connect with my new community. As I strolled down main street there was a building with numerous posters and signs in their window that caught my attention. After looking them up and learning more about what a Restorative Justice Center does, I felt a profound connection to the concept of giving individuals a second chance and embarking on the journey to mend the harm inflicted upon their communities. I jumped in on a yearlong commitment of volunteering on a Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) by participating in weekly Restorative Circles. This experience enabled me to learn more about myself, offering invaluable insights that far exceeded the time I devoted as a volunteer. 

Have you encountered any struggles when volunteering?

During my time as a volunteer with the COSA, I often encountered individuals who found it hard to comprehend why I chose to volunteer with those convicted of crimes, particularly sexual assault crimes. How I usually explain my choice is simple: I don’t want any more harm to come to anyone in my community. I genuinely believe that the work I do with COSAs can help prevent such harm. I see myself as an agent of change, striving to make my community a safer, better place. I am inspired by the belief that each of us has the power to make a difference.

Do you have a favorite anecdote from your volunteerism?

During my incredible journey with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, I had the privilege to visit Robben Island Prison and the cottage at Victor Verster Prison in South Africa, which was where Mandela was housed prior to his release. Through the profound lessons I absorbed and the inspiration I drew from this experience, one truth stood out to me: no matter how small your piece of impact is, when these small acts accumulate, they become something monumental.

While it’s unlikely that a single individual will alter the world’s trajectory, many individuals, each making a small difference every day, can indeed effect a remarkable transformation. I am not merely content to witness this change – I am determined to be a part of it.

    Through the profound lessons I absorbed and the inspiration I drew from this experience, one truth stood out to me: no matter how small your piece of impact is, when these small acts accumulate, they become something monumental.

    How does being on the YLS board support your volunteer activities? 

    The Young Leaders Society exemplifies the power of collective effort, where many individuals doing small things can lead to significant change! Just last year, we, as YLS members, donated over $1 million specifically in our Nashville area. Being a part of the YLS board, I am surrounded by individuals who manage demanding careers, bustling family lives, and still make positive changes in their communities. Their drive and dedication inspire me and make me believe that if they can do it, so can I! Moreover, there is an ongoing communication between my company, Gresham Smith, and United Way. This ensures that I have all the necessary tools to carry out Days of Action, disseminate information to a broader audience, and provide resources to support the UWGN’s initiatives. 

    What is your advice for other YLS members wanting to get involved in volunteerism? 

    Believe me, it’s easier than you might think! There are often opportunities just waiting for you that align with your hobbies and passions. I use the Hands-On Nashville calendar to search based on Type, Who to Serve, Date, and so on. I personally find immense joy in doing something I love, like caring for dogs, and knowing that my actions help others and my community. It leaves me with a sense of fulfillment that carries me through the week, until the next chance to do good comes along. I encourage you to find your own source of joy and make a difference in your community. 

    * * *

    Current Volunteer activities: 

    Animal Rescue Corps. animalrescuecorps.org

    Animal caretaker 
    Includes: cleaning, socializing, feeding, walking, playing, bathing, etc. with animals in ARC’s care along with shelter duties including laundry, dishes, stocking supplies, etc. 

    Hours served: 
    2024 27.5 to date 
    2023 43.5 
    2022 32.0 
    2021 40.0 
    2018 36.0 

    Pawster Nashville pawsternashville.org 

    Pet Chauffer 
    Includes picking up pets at home and driving them to and from the vet for appointments.  Picking up monthly supplies and dropping them off at fosters’ homes. Reuniting pets with their families after their temporary foster stay. 

    Years Served: 
    2024 
    2023 

    Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary ofsds.org 

    Geezer Guardian (forever foster mom) 
    Includes caretaking for a senior dog, providing all meals, medications, exercise and socialization. Bringing to all vet appointments at Old Friends medical center.   

    Volunteer at the sanctuary 
    Includes walking dogs on the trail around the property, monitoring the splash pad during play time in the yard, and snuggling, loving, brushing, and socializing with limited mobility dogs. 

    Fostering since 2019: Rudy, Kenny + Moosey 

    YLS of UWGN  

    Board Member + Co-Volunteer Chair 
    Years Served: 
    2024 
    2023 

    Past Volunteer Activities 

    • Co-chair for LGBTQ+ Alliance Employee Resource Group at Gresham Smith (2 years) 
    • Community Impact Subcommittee Chair (2 years) 
    • Chair for Gresham Smith United Way corporate campaign (2 years) 
    • Russell Rescue – temporary foster care and animal transport (1 year) 
    • Franklin Grand Isle Restorative Justice Center  
    • Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) – 1 year 
    • Restorative Circle volunteer – 1 year 

    Animal Rescue Corp Highlight: 

    Tim Woodward 
    Executive Director 
    Animal Rescue Corps 
    855-ARCorps  ext.102 

    Volunteers are essential to Animal Rescue Corps’ mission to end animal suffering through direct and compassionate action and to inspire the highest ethical standards of humanity towards animals. With a focus on large-scale rescue of abused, neglected, and at-risk animals from situations of hoarding, puppy mills, disaster, and other situations of suffering across North America and beyond, Animal Rescue Corps is largely volunteer-powered. Volunteers support ARC’s work in a variety of ways, from caregiving in ARC’s Rescue Center near Nashville, supporting rescue operations, transporting animals (both locally and nationally), supporting specialized rehabilitation work (including medical, behavior, and grooming), administrative tasks, fundraising, and more, volunteers make a powerful and personal difference in the lives of animals, helping them get the second chance they need and starting them on their journeys to a loving home.

    Visit animalrescuecorps.org/volunteer or email volunteer@animalrescuecorps.org for more information.