Some people volunteer because they feel they should. Then there are some folks, like Alan Morrison from Avalon Park, who volunteer because they are passionate about helping others.
Morrison has lived in Central Florida for the past 22 years and is a major account manager with a local waste management company. He doesn’t have much time to himself, but he puts the little time he does have into working with kids and teens, both his own and those in the community.
Thirteen years ago, along with three other volunteers, Morrison began Avalon/Timber Creek Pop Warner football. He now coaches the teams. Two years ago, he took over as president of the Timber Creek High School Foundation, and he is the vice president of the Foliage Sertoma Club in Apopka where he assists in organizing its annual Christmas Parade.
Also, as a member of the Orange County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for the past three years, he knows how beneficial it is for kids to be engaged in sports. “The organizations I help with are primarily for youth. I like watching these kids grow up as they move from elementary, to middle school, to high school, to college, and into the working world. The best part is that they find their own way during these transitions,” Morrison says. “This is the age group with the most creativity and enthusiasm. It’s amazing to listen to the ideas these kids come up with.”
When he was a kid, Morrison didn’t necessarily excel at sports, so he offers words of encouragement to the team that they don’t have to be the greatest athlete or the smartest guy in the room to be successful. It takes hard work and determination to get there. “It’s the small victories you celebrate that can springboard into the larger successes,” Morrison says. “A team sport is how well everyone performs together.”
Married for 32 years and dad to two boys, Morrison understands the need boys have to feel their participation is valued. “I coached my own kids. Each year there are always one or two special kids that need more help than others and may face a struggle whether it be at home or in an activity,” says Morrison.
“Alan Morrison has dedicated a lot of time, resources and effort to make sure that Pop Warner football existed on the East Side of Orlando. He cares about helping kids become young men with character. Alan Morrison has made sure kids have opportunities,” says Alan Gooch, executive director for the Orlando Sports Foundation.
What drives him to do so much for the kids in his area? Compassion. “I do all these things because I feel that I make a difference,” says Morrison.“Volunteering has been a very rewarding adventure for me and it has created memories to last a lifetime, and I do not plan on stopping anytime soon.”