Activate Good's Hall of Heroes

Activate Good would like to recognize these volunteers for going above and beyond the call of duty. These folks are always there when we need them, providing leadership at group projects, welcoming new volunteers with a friendly face, lending a hand at Activate Good events, and more!

Sara Riek


Sara is an avid volunteer and project leader for Activate Good’s meetup group Triangle Do-Gooders. Sara always shows up ready to put in hard work, with an enthusiastic and friendly spirit.

“Volunteering is my way of giving back. As a teacher I don’t have the financial means to give monetarily, so I choose to give my time.”

Sara loves volunteering with Activate Good because she can choose from so many causes to volunteer for. Through building homes, making dinner, serving food, and preparing gardens, she’s been able to meet people and visit places throughout the Triangle that she never would have. Sara never shies away from getting to know a new volunteer! All of us at Activate Good can agree with how Sara explains her philosophy:

“Anyone who is willing to give their weeknights or weekends to a good cause is a person worth meeting and getting to know.”

Josh Blitz

“Volunteering has taught me that even a small act of generosity with my time can have a large impact.”

Josh Blitz is always there when we need him as a project leader and frequent attendee of Activate Good events. Volunteering is important to Josh because of the variety of experiences that he can have and the people that he encounters while helping within the community. Helping out has underscored how important volunteers are to local causes:

“I recall in 2017 showing up to lead a project that nobody had signed up for and I had the opportunity to help a local nonprofit theater paint risers. With just myself and one of their staff we were able to finish most of the work within the allotted time. That rewarding anecdote has reinforced the knowledge that volunteers DO make a difference!”

Tasha Dyson

Tasha has found her perfect fit volunteering as one our project leaders for group projects at Wake Relief. For Tasha, volunteering is very straightforward:

“My take on volunteering is really pretty simple: Somebody needs my help, and it’s within my ability to help. Therefore, I help. That’s it.”

Wake relief provides individuals and families in crisis with one week of groceries, at no cost. Volunteers like Tasha unload and sort the monthly delivery truck of donated food that the organization receives from many different sources, including local food drives. The most surprising thing that Tasha has observed while volunteering for Wake Relief is the variety of food received by these food drives. When Tasha, and other volunteers sort through the donations, they find everything from useful items, such as peanut butter, soup, and kids snacks, to odd things like seaweed snacks and packs of soy sauce. Tasha gives more thought to the types of food she donates and shares this advice to folks looking to make a bigger difference with their donations:

“When you donate food at a food drive, the best thing to do is ask what that organization needs most. When in doubt, donate things that most everyone likes or things that are used to cook in multiple cultures or cuisines.”

Zoe Enga

Zoe starting volunteering (and now serving as a project leader) with Activate Good in 2013 and hasn’t slowed down since! Even after becoming a busy nursing school student, Zoe always makes time to give back to the community. Here’s why Zoe volunteers:

“It’s a way of paying it forward and bringing people together to foster a sense of hope and community. I remember what it was like when I was getting by on a minimum wage job and greatly appreciated it when others helped me out.”

Zoe enjoys helping out with the basic need of hunger by volunteering at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and leading community gardening projects in low-income neighborhoods. She is always amazed by the dedication of her fellow volunteers when they work together on a project. She loves learning about their life experiences and the interesting reasons why they volunteer. Those experiences, and the hope that she can improve her community in a small way through service, are what inspires Zoe to keep volunteering.

Bob Szlaius

Bob believes “we’re all in this together” and proven himself right, as a wonderful project leader and team player at Activate Good group projects and events. What Bob loves about being involved with Activate Good is the number and diversity of nonprofits that our volunteers have the opportunity to make an impact for. When asked why volunteering is important to him, Bob offered these simple, yet wise words:

“Every time you help an individual, you are helping your community.”

 Katie Colleran

Katie volunteers as a way to connect with her community. She moves around quite a lot and she searches for new volunteer opportunities in whatever city she lands. For the past couple of years, Katie has been a valued project leader and cheerleader for Activate Good, always ready to get someone new involved. Katie told us about why she volunteers:

“It gives me a sense of purpose, helps me to better understand and get out in my new home, and has connected me to some really amazing people.”

While some volunteers focus on one cause or type of project, Katie has lent her time to a variety of projects over the years. She embodies Activate Good’s motto, “anybody can be somebody’s hero”:

“Volunteering has taught me that we all have something to give. I have been fortunate to work on a number of different projects across the years. There is always a way to help your community no matter your age, skills, background. You just need to take the time to find it!”

Nancy Stolfo-Corti

Nancy Stolfo-Corti is one of Activate Good’s dedicated project leaders, most often leading projects to cook dinner at the Ronald McDonald House. A wine aficionado, Nancy brings class and grace to every volunteer opportunity, and never fails to welcome newcomers with a friendly face.

“Volunteering is important to me because it gives me hope. In a world gone mad, knowing I am making a difference in my little corner, is extremely empowering.”

Nancy loves how Activate Good caters to every kind of volunteer, from those who want to volunteer every week, to those who can only find the time once in a blue moon. She loves the opportunity to meet so many people who are volunteering for the first time and to be a part of turning them in to “repeat customers”!

Jason Strohmaier

Jason has been volunteering with Activate Good for over 5 years, during which he has served as a project leader and helped at various events. Volunteering is important to Jason, because he believes everyone should be given the chance to succeed:

“Very little separates the fortunate and unfortunate among us beyond luck and circumstance.” 

Some of Jason’s favorite volunteer memories are instances when individuals outside saw the difference the volunteers were making and spontaneously decided to pitch in.

“Volunteerism is something that isn’t always at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but when they see it happening it drives them toward the common goal of helping others.”