News & Resources

Q & A with Eric

Feb 23, 2024

Jay Burkhardt

Eric has been making a difference at Circle Center as a volunteer for four years. We caught up with him recently to learn more about his experiences at Circle Center and why he chooses to give of himself and his time to our mission.

How do you volunteer at Circle Center?

I come in three to four days a week, for the day. I do a variety of things from taking walks with participants, to puzzles and games, helping with arts and crafts, and just visiting one-on-one. I’m a retired photographer, so on occasion the staff will have me take some photos of our fun!

Why do you volunteer?

It’s incredibly rewarding and as a retiree, it gives me a sense of purpose. The staff are so wonderful and loving–I really respect them. At this point, I have dear friends here, both participants and staff. I feel lucky to get to see them every week.

What makes Circle Center special?

It’s a really unique place in Richmond that provides care, socialization, and activities and has such a long history of doing that. It provides a critical need, with all of us growing older, to have a rich life full of friendships, art, exercise opportunities, and so many other things.

In addition, I was very involved in my mother-in-law’s care and I can tell you that the staff at Circle Center are the most dedicated, caring professionals I’ve ever experienced.

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering here?

You’ll learn a lot about yourself and life at Circle Center. You’ll get to know people who have faced tremendous physical challenges, and yet are so joyful. They affirm that even in difficult circumstances, it’s possible to move forward in life and have a very positive experience. I have so much respect for the participants — my friends.

I’ve never had a bad day at Circle Center!

Thank you to Eric and the many other volunteers, both groups and individuals, who give their time and energy to our mission. They are part of what makes our program thrive!

If you or your group would like to volunteer, learn more or contact Mary Branzelle, Program Director, at 804.355.5717 or