By Mac Hightower
Stuttgart Citizen volunteer
Ayonna Clark, Stuttgart’s 2019 Civilian Volunteer of the Year award winner, first came to U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s USO as a patron. She said when her family first moved to Germany, they were welcomed by the friendly staff and volunteers at the USO.
Clark’s mother later joined the USO team as a volunteer and Clark remembers, “she always talked about all the different programs and opportunities they allowed volunteers to help with.”
Intrigued, Clark followed suit, and joined the USO team as a volunteer. Since her start date, she has taken on a variety of roles from lead volunteer to working the front desk; she’s served food and drinks at events, and has helped as an administrator.
Perhaps best known for her role during the USO Family Movie Night events, Clark helps choose a movie then plans movie-themed activities and/or snacks for the event.
Her supervisor notes, “In 2019, our Family Movie events served more than 600 people in the USAG Stuttgart Community. The kids in our community love her craft projects and therefore love to attend our events. Without the added fun of her crafts at so many of our events, they just wouldn’t be the same.”
Clark shares that what she loves about the USO is their openness to suggestions. “They really give you an opportunity to thrive in your interests and they love to hear suggestions from volunteers,” she said.
It is that openness that has allowed Clark to “feel like family” while volunteering.
Upon being honored as USAG Stuttgart’s 2019 Civilian Volunteer of the Year, Clark stated, “ I had the privilege of enjoying different events with friends and family growing up; and want to help give back the opportunities to people in each community I’m a part of.”
If you would like to volunteer with the USO, register on the Volunteer Management Information System (VMIS) through www.myarmyonesource.com