Au Pair in America encourages participants to make the most out of their exchange year. One key way to do this is by volunteering for causes and organizations that help au pairs understand more about our culture of volunteerism in the United States.
On November 4th, 2018, hundreds of Au Pair in America au pairs volunteered at the annual NYC Marathon. The volunteers were part of a larger group organized by the Department of State for Exchange Visitor Program participants. Volunteers were stationed at mile markers along the marathon to hand out drinks to the runners as they passed by, cheer them on and direct runners to the nearest medical tents if needed. Along with au pairs, Au Pair in America staff and counselors also signed up to participate in the fun and excitement of what was a beautiful fall day.
Au Pair in America Deputy Director Jean Quinn (featured in the photograph above) was one of the volunteers at Fluid Station 24 and was busy filling Gatorade cups and cheering on runners with au pairs from France, Spain, Poland, Germany and Brazil.
“The enthusiasm of our au pairs was extraordinary,” Jean remarked. “They did not stop for the entire shift (over 6 hours!). Many were cheering on runners from their home countries in their native languages – the runners lit up when they heard their native languages. Since we were at mile 24 it was great to be able to say: ‘only 2.2 more miles, you got this!’ in so many different languages.”
Au Pair in America also had runners participating – including community counselors from Virginia and Connecticut, a host family (husband and wife team) from Long Island and even an au pair from Poland.