Ashley Brannen Holt is the Volunteer of the Month for August. Ashley and her husband Jeremy had begun looking for a religious home in which to raise their family. This need was heightened for Ashley when her father committed suicide on January 3, 2014. The first Sunday Ashley was able to attend, Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay preached on being broken, loss, healing and putting self together, which gave Ashley more closure than her childhood church had done. She decided then and there that UUCSS was the place for her. Jeremy and their daughter Norah immediately started becoming active at UUCSS but, due to her job, Ashley was not able to attend regularly until April 2017. Although the departure of Rev. Liz hit her hard, the relationships she and Jeremy were forming and the support UUCSS provided them to engage in social activism with their daughters kept Ashley involved at UUCSS.
Less than six months later after Ashley began attending regularly, Ashley and Jeremy were asked to become co-chairs of the 2018 Annual Budget Drive. Ashley was immediately gung-ho, feeling they could do this. Although the ABD took much more time than she had realized, she found great support from UUCSS members, including those she didn’t know or had rarely spoken. For Ashley, volunteering as ABD co-chair gave her an opportunity to do something for herself as well as others and to fill a role other than those of mother and physician’s assistant.