Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Over the years, we have met more volunteers than we can count. If you ask each volunteer why they chose to take time out of their life to help others, it almost always comes down to wanting to be part of something bigger than themselves.
More than 800 of our Marines, family members and civilians take the time to volunteer a few times a year. Hundreds of those make the time to volunteer monthly across the area. Some of our most dedicated will earn more than 100 hours of volunteer service a year.
Cpl. Kayla Soles is well on her way to achieving this goal for the second time. What is most amazing is that she volunteers after spending her work day at Manpower Management Division Separation & Retirement helping her fellow Marines process their disability separation and retirement paperwork and attending college courses at night.
As full as her week may be, she purposely makes time most weekends to volunteer in the community. “I see a lot of negativity. Volunteering reminds me that there are good people in the world. It is where I find my positive attitude and it helps me connect with those who are like-minded.”
While she states that she “became hooked on volunteering as a way to help animals,” her interests have expanded to include retirement homes, Special Olympics, Honor Flights, Adopt-a-School and the Library. She is most proud of her work with the Quantico Toys for Tots Program, where she stood by to thank the community for their donations this past holiday. Soles utilizes the Volunteer Information Center used by the base to pick and choose how she decides to help others. “It helps me see what events are available.” Being able to see who is volunteering for the event lets her know if there will be others there she is familiar with. Having a lot of openings is typically her trigger to sign up as she believes “It tells me that they really need help”.
Though her days, nights, and weekends are busy, Soles strives to make a difference in the world. She hopes to finish her degree soon. Her long-term goal is to earn a PhD in psychology and maybe one day become an officer in the United States Marine Corps. When asked about her strong work ethic, she smiled and said, “My dad is a coal miner in West Virginia. He is my hero.”