Alex Markham: Parent Leader and Super Volunteer

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Here at Healthy Homes, we have a small, but mighty volunteer force. And, possibly no volunteer is more known around the offices as a go-to helper than Alex Markham. She has been a very regular giver of time, talent, and passion over the past three years, and we are thankful to have her as part of the team.

 

Alex started volunteering three years ago after trying to find an organization that addressed the connection between health and housing. Healthy Homes fit the bill, and she’s been an invaluable member of the team since.

The day of her volunteer interview, she stayed to stuff envelopes. From there, she kept moving into different roles, first working with the FEMA program installing fire alarms, and then as a peer educator, a program which connects volunteers directly to families. Peer educators visit at-risk families in their homes to talk to them about potential lead risks in their homes.

These days, Alex's main role as a volunteer is as an active member of the grassroot parent organization, Parents For Healthy Homes. Alex work with a group of parents and concerned community members to work on policy change to keep kids safe at the city, county, and state levels. 

Alex shared one of her favorite experiences as volunteer, visiting a family that spoke only Arabic.

“I knew nothing about the language, but as it turns out, my friends have an odd collection of talents. They taught me how to format translations and I even found someone who could proofread. It took two weeks to put together the materials, but the family and I were able to go through everything from fire safety to lead safe cleaning step by step despite the language barrier.”

She has her own variety of talents also, working as a medical assistant, but studying systems engineering, sign language, and public health, in addition to being a mom to her son, Finn.

Alex is passionate about housing issues, and wants people to understand the complex relationship between housing and health.

“Housing is a social determinant of health. I cannot say that enough. From growth and development to chronic illnesses, housing matters.  Alongside the way in which we watch our city as it is changing, we need to maintain a diligent focus on the environment in which our children are growing. The future of our communities cannot thrive while the well being of our children is undermined by the structure they call home.”

She is a strong proponent of community members finding what matters to them and giving back how they can.  

“Volunteering is the best thing you can do: for you, for your family, for your friends, your neighbors, your community, for everybody.  You, just as you are, have so much to give to your community. Take something you care about and find a way to support an organization doing that work.”

If you have an interest in healthy housing and keeping kids safe, we could use your talents in the movement too! There are many ways to volunteer, from help with events, to peer education, to office work and beyond. We are always looking for help, and we would love to meet you. If you’re interested, drop an email to info@healthyhomescoalition.org to connect.

 


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