Donation Essentials Blog

Advocate Spotlight: Adrienne Shirk

Donor Alliance volunteers and advocates are the heart and soul of our efforts to inspire and inform our community about the importance of signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in Colorado and Wyoming. Each of our volunteers and advocates has their own unique and inspiring story to tell. In this advocate spotlight, meet Adrienne Shirk, an Advocate for the Cause from Boulder, CO.

Get to Know Adrienne Shirk in this Month’s Advocate Spotlight:

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Donor Alliance?

My favorite memory or experience is our monthly Monday Zoom meetings. From a disability standpoint, it’s such an accessible way for me to connect. I really enjoy getting to know the other volunteers and hearing their stories. Their altruism and love is incredibly palpable, even in a virtual format. My favorite part about volunteering with DA is the opportunity to give back to the community and the transplant clinic that saved my life. I like that I have a chance to help those waiting for a transplant or lifesaving surgery in a meaningful, actionable way.

What is your favorite season and why?

It’s always been fall. I’m from the east coast, where fall is definitely longer, warmer and simply idyll. But I love it here too- watching gorgeous fall sunrises, drinking hot coffee on a cool day, spotting bear & deer. It’s great.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I’ve mentored female college student-athletes for the past 7 years and most of my proudest accomplishments have been from serving them & meeting their needs. I’m proud of the fact that what started out as a personal project to build community, talk about health and nutrition, and support them eventually got noticed and admired by the other athletic coaches, athletic director, university leadership, and even other schools. Seeing my work with them go from “I want to make a difference” to “wow, I really am making a difference” to “wow other people want this for their teams too” – – I mean, what an amazing feeling and blessing.

What is the last book you read or movie you saw? Would you recommend it?

I recently watched Tom Hanks’ “A Man Called Otto” and it was deeply moving & profound. It made me sob and laugh – and sometimes both at once. As a person with a progressive chronic illness, I found it incredibly real and relatable.

What song would you sing at karaoke night?

Probably something Joni Mitchell (Blonde in the Bleachers) or Janis Joplin (Me and Bobby McGee), though I don’t think I could do either of those queens justice.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

When I was 15, an athletic coach talked to me about cultivating a relationship with God. I don’t think my life would be the same if he hadn’t opened up about his own faith and then encouraged me to start living my life by faith too. I guess that’s not your typical kind of advice, but for me, it was the best advice ever.

If you’re interested in volunteering with us we’d love to have you join our Advocates for Life program! Get started.

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