Spring 2003, p.25

Volunteer Profile: Jackie Ruvolo

Occupation: Graphic designer/art director for an advertising agency.
Neighborhood: East Village
T.A. member since: April 1999
Why did you join T.A.?
I ride my bike everywhere. It truly can be such a joy and the best way to get around town but, as we all know, it can be so frustrating as well. I wanted to be a part of something that was making things better and safer for us all.
What exactly do you do to help T.A.?
I help out by offering my graphic design skills for various projects that come up. Recently I redesigned the Century brochure. I've also done some bridge counts this past summer/fall. Nothing like chillin' on the Brooklyn bridge with a really big coffee at 8 am on a beautiful summer's day and helping out T.A. at the same time!
What is your philosophy on volunteering?
Volunteering is win-win. The personal reward and fulfillment that comes with volunteering can't be beat! It's a super important thing to do for yourself while helping others and better the world. And it's something that everyone could do. Imagine that!
What would you say to someone on the street in order to convince him or her to volunteer for T.A.?
Anyone who walks in this city has benefited from T.A.'s advocacy work. Why not get in there and be a part of it? You'll meet wonderful people and do good for others!
How has volunteering helped you personally?
Volunteering always gets you out there meeting new people. Plus, the overall sense of wellbeing and accomplishment that comes from helping others is huge! It has also inspired me to do some other major volunteer projects. I went to France this summer to help build a hiking trail and Rail Trail. Now I have friends from seven countries to visit and I'm working on getting them to visit my beloved NYC!
If you could change three things in New York, what would they be and why?
1. I would get rid of car alarms. They're just such a selfish plague to our peace. There's nothing more annoying than being assaulted in your own home by that awful sound.
2. Safe and accessible bike lanes. They're not much good when they are used as parking spaces! Riding a bike in bike friendly cities like Amsterdam can really open your eyes to what is possible. It's a little piece of heaven!
3. Affordable housing for us common-folk. Like we need any more luxury buildings in this city!
If T.A. could give you any prize for volunteering, what would it be?
Just the fact that you guys are watching out and fighting for all of us out there is a great prize in itself ... really!

Read more volunteer profiles.