This is my first year volunteering.
Why do you volunteer?
I love that I have an opportunity to give back and do very fun and fulfilling work. The biggest reason, however, is because of what the girls do to inspire me. When I consider their stories and how hard they work each day to bring strength and hope back to their own lives, it really touches me and keeps my going. Like fuel for the soul.
What do you do when you are not volunteering?
I very much enjoy the gift of family and friends. I have a husband, two children, nine siblings and 26 nieces and nephews. They keep me pretty busy. I am also a Principal in ThinkNew! Strategic Marketing and mentor several young professionals. When I’m not working or volunteering, I enjoy playing tennis, watching sports and traveling.
Why do you choose to donate your time to Maryhurst?
I have been volunteering on ad hoc boards and committees for many years. I’ve even coached teenage girls in several sports. A few years ago, I decided to get involved with an organization in a deeper and more meaningful way. I also knew I liked working with young girls – with all their spirit and dreams and silliness. I explored many organizations, but when I attended a “Meet and Greet” at Maryhurst, I felt an immediate connection to their mission, leadership and caregivers. I knew Maryhurst is where I wanted to make those more meaningful contributions.
Can you share an experience with Maryhurst that made you realize you were making a difference?
One way I have become involved at Maryhurst is by mentoring a young woman who resided at Rosehaven and attended a local community college. We met once a week for many months before she moved out of town to be with extended family. We still keep in touch via email. Recently, she applied to a job training program and was accepted. She sent me an email that had (I counted) 36 exclamation points in it because she was so excited for the opportunity. She had come a long way in the 6 months that I mentored with her, and I felt nothing but pride for her and her achievement.
What advice would you give someone who is on the fence about volunteering?
Someone told me once: “Life is not a dress rehearsal” and I take those words to heart everyday. If someone wants to make giving back part of a life plan, then today is the day to get started. Maryhurst.com has wonderful information. The opportunities are endless for people with all sorts of experience, time and abilities. And the rewards are simply immeasurable.