All-star volunteer Anita Shuey
Anita Shuey arrives at the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot at 5 a.m. each year. She remembers the first year she volunteered. It was freezing cold, and there were no lights or coffee. Eight years later and still volunteering, Anita is thankful to have coffee and lights when she arrives dark and early (although it’s still chilly many years).
Each Thanksgiving morning, Anita helps coordinate more than 200 volunteers who make the Trot possible. She checks in volunteers, ensures sure they all have T-shirts, informs them of their volunteer duty, and directs them on where to go. Anita is the all-star volunteer who makes sure all the other volunteers have a fun and rewarding experience.
Anita says the early morning wakeup call is worth it to for her to get to see thousands of elated people walking and running. “One of the many joys I get is watching families come out together. There’s such a happy community feel out there on Thanksgiving morning, and the costumes are so fun too.”
Because the volunteer tent is in such a prime location, Anita has also inadvertently become a master director of traffic and problem solver during the event. She has helped children find their parents, dogs reunite with their owners, and drivers find their keys. Anita has also been a regular volunteer at Caritas of Austin for nine years. She has Thursdays off from her job as an MRI technologist, and she spends that day every week entering data and tracking statistics for the hundreds of volunteers that give their time to the organization. “People are hurting, and we should be there for others. Caritas of Austin’s work does just that. Everyone that works there is so positive; they do this work because they are passionate,” says Anita.
On Thanksgiving Day, Anita is often one of the last people remaining at The Long Center cleaning up after the run takes place and all the festivities have concluded. Then, she heads home to relax for a while before enjoying her Thanksgiving meal– a classic turkey dinner at Threadgill’s, usually with her daughter.
If you see Anita on Thanksgiving morning, she can help answer any questions you might have!