Meet our March Volunteer of the Month: Dorothy Desmond


March 2, 2017


Dorothy was born & raised in Wilmington, DE, graduated from Barnard College & Boston Univ. Law School.  She practiced law in New Hampshire & Boston, MA from 1977 to 2014 when she mostly retired & moved back to Brooklyn.  Between college & law school, she was a VISTA volunteer in Houston, TX, & worked for Harper & Row Publishers, College Division in NYC (which is when she first lived in Brooklyn, in Park Slope).  She is a widow with one daughter & two stepchildren & love, love, love being a grandmother!

1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC and why did you decide to volunteer?

I had a friend in Boston when I lived there who was the treasurer of 826 Boston & she invited me to attend Bagels & Books, a fundraiser, and then roped me into selling tickets to other fundraising events & promoting 826 Boston as a worthy charity to friends, acquaintances & my clients.  Because I was working full-time then, I didn’t have time to do any volunteering beyond that but when I moved to Brooklyn in 2014, I looked for 826 here because I was semi-retired and had time to volunteer.

2. What’s your favorite part of volunteering at 826NYC?

I love the interaction with the children &, as an avid reader myself, helping introduce them to a love of books & to trying new things.  I wish I had better creative writing skills myself so that I could help them better tap into their amazing imaginations & put those ideas on paper.

3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?  

I am a mostly retired lawyer so some days I am still doing legal work.  But what I really love is theater & I see as many plays each season as I can afford.  I live in the same house as my daughter & her family and help her & my grandson with his after-school activities.  I also read both fiction & non-fiction books every evening  & 2 newspapers daily.

4. What advice would you give a new volunteer?

Be patient & kind & have realistic expectations for what you & the kids can achieve each day.  But every day is a new adventure & sometimes a very surprising one!

5. What are your superpowers? 

I can see the future!