Volunteer Spotlight: Helen Orringer
Phipps is well-known for our beautiful gardens, seasonal flower shows, pioneering sustainability initiatives, informative educational programs and community outreach. None of our work, however, would be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our volunteers. In this series of profiles, we meet some of the people who give their time to make Phipps possible.
After growing up in Pittsburgh, Helen Orringer, moved to Toledo, Ohio to pursue a career in special education. Outside of her profession, Helen’s fascination for plants and gardening has always been a passion for her. She’s even gone as far as to say that she’s “never met a flower, I didn’t love”.
She moved back to Pittsburgh in 2003 and in her retirement decided to start getting involved at Phipps! She stated that she had been drawn to volunteering here specifically because of her love for flowers and she says, “I’ve always felt this was a magical place — a tropical paradise.”. Helen went through our docent program and began to volunteer before the end of 2003. Not only does she provide her knowledge and skills here when she can, but she is also a docent at the Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden.
Coming up on twenty years of volunteering here at Phipps, Helen has helped in many ways. With a soft spot for children and education she loves being able to “see Phipps through children’s eyes.”. When she is here, Helen will show groups around, amongst other things, and do her best to share the information and joy that comes with this environment. Helen can’t wait to teach you all about the beautiful plants that Phipps has to offer!
Photo © Paul g. Wiegman