Chamber Insider Blog

Small Business Finalist Spotlight: Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers

Thanks to Susan Mandel Giblin of Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, and congrats again!
Register here for the Small Business Awards on November 2, 2017. 

1.  Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?

Our mission: Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers is a corps of volunteers who strive to help frail elderly, disabled and chronically ill adults to maintain independent living, with dignity and with quality of life.

For the past 22 years, Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers has been a lifeline for seniors and disabled adults living in Loudoun County.  In 1993, members of the local Episcopalian church saw a need to help the elderly and disabled in Loudoun County, VA so that they could remain living in their own homes; these caring volunteers formed Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers (LVC) and in 1995, LVC was incorporated as a nonprofit charity with the 501(c)3 designation. LVC received start-up funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For our first few years of operation, we were housed in the basement of the church where we started. Since then, our programs have expanded to annually helping almost 300 community members through three service programs: Assisted transportation – most of the rides we provide are for dialysis, routine doctor appointments, chemo and radiation treatments, urgent care, and other medical related appointments, but we provide rides as well for prescription pickup, hair salons, libraries, and food shopping.  Supportive Services – include regular, bi-monthly home delivery of supplemental food from Loudoun Hunger Relief and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, home repairs and maintenance, visiting, respite care and quality of life programs (annual picnic, student-run clubs, parties).  Our Money Management program provides financial education and management for mostly mentally disabled or challenged adults.  All our services are provided for free by vetted, trained and friendly volunteers.

 2.   What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?

Well, first, it is such an honor to be considered for this award.  There are so many great nonprofits helping so many people in our County, and to have been nominated and perhaps to win would be a validation of all that our volunteers do; it means that the work we are doing is appreciated and important to those we help, and to the community.

 3. If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?

 If I weren’t running LVC, I would probably be working for another nonprofit.  Or maybe do more singing, which is my first love.

4.  What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?

I’ve just finished Stephen King’s 11/22/63, which I really enjoyed.  I am just starting Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, on the recommendation of my daughter, Aylie.  We share a lot of books.  My favorite is The Stand so I guess you could say I am a huge fan of Mr. King, although I love the works of John Lescroart and Iris Johansen too.  Books are very important in my family!

5.  If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?

Probably reading; I’ve given up on a garden for this year

6.  What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?

Well, it’s a lot of little things; it’s the extra ride someone provides to a care receiver that means so much; it’s the ‘thank you’ cards and calls we sometimes get for the birthday cards we send out each month, telling us how much it meant for us to remember their birthday; it’s the extra food that someone delivers to a hungry person; it’s the two dollar bills a senior will send in to help with our costs; it’s knowing that we were able to help someone, that we made their lives a little easier.

7.  What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?

I always wanted to sing, and I do that part-time, so I guess I’m living my dream!  I also wanted to be a doctor, but medical school never happened.  So I volunteer as an EMT once a week and that fulfills the part of me that wants to help and heal.

8.  Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?

That would be my husband Brian, who has supported me through everything that I have endeavored.  When I wanted to pursue my singing, he encouraged me to take guitar lessons and bought me a beautiful Taylor guitar.  When I wanted to become an EMT, he took over caring for our two young kids so I could train and then run as a volunteer with the Emergency Squad.  And when I wasn’t sure I could be a good Executive Director of a nonprofit, he told me I absolutely could do it, and encouraged me to try.  I always know that because he has my back, I can do what’s meaningful in my life.

9.  What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?

There are so many great people in this county, people who are willing to give of their time, their energy, their precious funds, their love.  I love meeting and working with our volunteers, the beautiful women who help run LVC, the individuals we are serving who are the reason we are in business and who light up our lives, the dedicated individuals we have on our Board of Directors, and all of our supporters in the community. The support of all of these folks makes LVC work and an important part of the Loudoun community.

10. If you’re not in the office where can we find you?

Probably in my car; I seem to live in it a lot!  Or working on our new deck – staining, planting, maybe practicing music, maybe watching the kids march with the Marching band at Loudoun Valley HS

11. What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?

I love the woods and a hike on a weekend is definitely among my favorite activities.  We love to visit wineries with friends, and get outside.  And our once-a-month ‘date night’ at one of the area’s many restaurants is too.

Thanks to Susan Mandel Giblin of Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, and congrats again!
Register here for the Small Business Awards on November 2, 2017.