Organization: Hilbert Wolves Athletic Association, Hilbert Music Boosters and Team River of Hope
Volunteer Service: Since 2019
In what ways do you volunteer?
I volunteer in a number of ways for the Hilbert School District—sewing costumes for the Hilbert Music Boosters, serving on the board of education for the high school, and as treasurer for the Hilbert Wolves Athletic Association. I also sew blankets and help fundraise for “Team River of Hope,” a nonprofit group that sends blankets to patients at the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.
What motivated you to get involved in your community?
I feel it’s important to show children, especially my own, the benefits of volunteering and inspiring others to get involved in our community. There are a lot of needs in our community—when we all work together, we can accomplish a lot of great things. I try to teach this concept to others and inspire the youngest members of our community in hopes that they, too, will pass this on to the next generation.
How did you get involved with these organizations?
I love Halloween and I’m good at sewing, a skillset not a lot of people have anymore. During COVID, I saw there was a need at the local school to sew costumes for the musical and offered my assistance. It was a big undertaking because they needed a lot of outfits sewn, but it was rewarding at the same time to provide something unique.
My passion for sports and financial knowledge made my involvement in the Athletic Association a natural fit, along with my children’s involvement at the school. As the treasurer, I am able to utilize my background in the financial industry to benefit the organization’s reporting and strategy. Most recently, I joined Team River of Hope through a family friend whose daughter passed away from cancer.
What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?
I would say just watching the kids learn new skills and find something they love to do is the most rewarding part. Nothing can beat a child’s smile.
Can you share a memory from your community involvement?
Last year I was working on costumes for a musical where we had a few younger kids in the play. When one little girl tried on her fish costume her face lit up and she hugged me. When the students express their gratitude it melts my heart and makes me want to continue to do this work. It makes me so happy to see them happy.
How has volunteering influenced you?
I started off small, doing little things here and there. The more I do, the more I want to do. It feels good to give back and breeds that desire to continue. I find myself more involved and looking where else I can contribute.
What have you learned about your community through your involvement?
Since getting involved with the school, I learned how tight of a budget they have to fund programs for kids. I always assumed the money was there, but it’s not. That means there is a huge need to fill that gap with people who have the ability to help out.
Why is it important to give back to the communities we serve?
Our communities need us and it’s important to inspire our youth to carry on the good we are doing in our communities. Getting them involved shows how they can be part of positive change just by giving a little of their time and talent. It will inspire them to share that with future generations.
What advice would you give other colleagues looking to start volunteering?
Think about your strengths and activities you enjoy and look for community opportunities in those areas. When I started using my skill as a seamstress to volunteer, it felt like fun, not work. If you use your talents or share something you’re already doing to help others, you’ll find it is both enjoyable and rewarding to share that in the community.