Ashley vonClausburg, a UNCG alum from the class of 2009, was interviewed by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online regarding her volunteer work in the Philippines.

An international relations and dance major who spent a year studying abroad in Italy, she quit her corporate job after four years and decided to take time off to help the typhoon-ravaged country.

“I couldn’t think of a good reason not to go,” vonClausburg wrote in an email she sent from India. “I’d thought about visiting the Philippines as a tourist around that same time, and it didn’t seem right to abandon the country now that it was in a total upheaval. Plus having no job, no plans, and no responsibilities pretty much made me the perfect candidate to dedicate my time.”

She worked with All Hands Volunteers, a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering disaster relief volunteers around the world, and wrote about her travels and experiences in a blog, TravelerbyDesign.com.

She joined a group of about 50 people in the Philippines who worked six days a week at schools and home sites taking down dangerous buildings and cleaning up debris, preparing the sites to rebuild. The group also spent a day distributing food supplies to more rural communities.

Her current plan is to return in early April, though she has yet to book that flight. Explaining her volunteer experiences, despite the difficult aspects, vonClausburg wrote, “it was probably the closest thing I’ve ever had to a perfect experience.”