Victoria Long is Director of Community Programming & Partnerships at Flagler Health+. Volunteering led her to a career in the nonprofit sector, and she loves making a difference in people’s lives.
What can you share about your background?
I am originally from North East, Maryland and I have lived in St. Augustine for 4 years. I graduated from Elon University and I am currently working on my Master’s in Data Analytics at University of Alabama.
What attracts you to the nonprofit sector?
I have been involved with nonprofit work either as a volunteer or as an employee for about 12 years, and at the end of the day it is the satisfaction of knowing that your work is making a difference in people’s lives. Volunteering introduced me to working in the nonprofit sector. About 7 years ago, I volunteered through United Way of Central Florida, as a Reading Pal. I worked with kindergarten students on reading skills on a weekly basis. It was a rewarding experience to see the children grow in their love of reading and to help them build skills that helped them succeed in school. I loved the experience and it led me to get more involved with United Way and I eventually came on board to work there. When I moved to St. Augustine, I joined the team at United Way of St Johns County as the Director of Resource Development. I was blown away by the level of involvement in the community when I moved here. It was refreshing to see how generous the people in this community are. They give so much of themselves in time, talent and treasure.
How long have you been with St. Johns Volunteers?
I am currently the Director of Community Programming & Partnerships at Flagler Health+. My responsibilities include developing partnerships to advance the physical, social and economic health of the communities we serve. I oversee programming for Flagler Health+ Care Connect, St. Johns Volunteers! and our Flagler Health+ Auxiliary. I started as the Program Director for SJV in February and took on my most recent role in July this year.
Tell readers about an upcoming initiative on the St. Johns Volunteers agenda.
Volunteerism plays a very important role in the health of our community. From the more than 250 volunteers that serve on our Auxiliary team across the hospital, to our Health Advisory Councils that help us to identify and meet the needs for our new Health Villages, to the over 1,500 people that have signed up through our St Johns Volunteers website, volunteers are changing the landscape of our community every day. This year we are working with the school district to match students with volunteer opportunities and to help them track their time effectively. We plan to host a volunteer expo next spring to bring even more attention to the multiple ways our community can get involved and make a difference.
Have volunteers shared what drives them to step up and serve?
What I hear from so many volunteers, time and time again, is that they start volunteering because they want to give back to others who are less fortunate, but what keeps them coming back is that they feel like they get so much more out of the experience and they are the ones who are blessed by the time invested.
Do you have a motto or philosophy?
My motto is: Do your part to leave the world better than you found it.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
Our year-round access to so many natural resources. My family loves to take advantage of our beautiful weather, beaches and parks. And of course, the amazing local restaurants. Some of my favorites are Preserved, Michael’s Tasting Room and the Floridian.
Would you like to tell us about your family?
My husband, Jonathan and I have a son, Jackson, who is a year-and-a-half, and we are expecting a little girl, Harper, in December. I feel blessed to raise a family here with our amazing schools and resources.
What do you like to do outside of work?
When I can get away, you’ll find me at the beach or playing tourist. Some of our favorite sites to frequent are the St. Augustine Aquarium and the Alligator Farm because we like to find ways to share our love of nature with our son.Edited by Maggie FitzRoy