Traveling the World and Helping along the Way


July 31, 2018

Without our volunteers, our organization would not have grown to what it is today. Whether it’s to improve their chances of landing a job in the solar industry, or a way of giving back to their community, their contributions are greatly appreciated. With so many amazing people coming and going I feel it’s important to take time to get to know some of them a little better and understand what GRID means to them. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Alison Van Dusen who has volunteered with GRID since 2015 and has over 160 installation hours with us and on March 28, 2016, she became a Team Leader. Alison’s journey with GRID started at a time of personal hardship and was part of her healing process during her battle with cancer.She was diagnosed in 2015 and treatment was going to take a year to complete, so she moved from Colorado to Clovis, CA to stay with her close friends during treatment. She heard about GRID Alternatives while living in Colorado from a classmate and was thrilled to find out there was an office in Fresno. Two months into treatment she noticed she was still capable and wanted a positive way to spend her free time and started volunteering. She appreciated the fact that our work not only benefits homeowners, but also the volunteers, staff and the environment. Having worked for our National Parks in ten states over 26 years, our mission resonated with her values and she truly enjoyed her time with our organization.

Our conversation was done via email due to her being in the middle of a four-month cycling trip across Western Europe and I was shocked to discover the extent of her volunteer work. Alison has spent her adult life living a nomadic lifestyle and works for National Parks services during the summer and winter. In her spare time, she packs everything into her car and travels, visits friends and family, and volunteers. Her experiences just to name a few are helping at animal shelters, disaster relief, teaching English to Thai monks overseas and spending six months in Haiti at a children’s nutrition clinic. It is not very often that you get to meet someone who is so selfless and I am humbled to know that people like Alison believe in the work we do here at GRID.