Voices for Children couldn’t advocate for thousands of children in foster care across San Diego and Riverside Counties without our dedicated Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers. Because we know firsthand how invaluable volunteers are, we encourage our own staff to give their time to other nonprofits and even provide time for employees to volunteer at an organization of their choice. Here are just a few ways our team is giving back beyond VFC:
“I want children impacted by cancer to have the same childhood experiences as any other kid.” It’s this sentiment that has led Victoria to volunteer at not one, but two special camps: Oncology and Kids’ Camp Reach for the Sky in San Diego and Camp Casco in Massachusetts. Both camps provide a week of carefree fun to childhood cancer patients, survivors, and siblings.
Victoria has been Head Counselor at Camp Casco for the past six years. She recruits volunteer counselors and teaches them how to work with childhood cancer patients. She also plans camp activities and supports to campers with special needs during the week of camp.
“Quality of life programs are so vital for these children to not just survive, but thrive,” Victoria said.
During the pandemic, Victoria took on a new volunteer role: delivery driver for Mama’s Kitchen, which provides meals to AIDS and cancer patients in San Diego.
“These are people who could not leave their homes,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to be contributing.”
Director of Programs (Riverside County) at Voices for Children
Volunteer at Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue
Sharon has two passions: children and dogs, especially Golden Retrievers! She is a former president of the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, but took a step back after starting her position as our Director of Programs for Riverside County. However, Sharon stays involved with the rescue as a volunteer pet foster. She cares for abused, abandoned, and neglected Golden Retrievers in her home until they are ready to find forever families.
“I love Goldens. I have three of my own,” Sharon said. “So more, the merrier!”
Advocacy Supervisor at Voices for Children
Volunteer at San Diego Peace Corps Association
The San Diego Peace Corps Association is a place where former members of the Peace Corps (known as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCVs) can connect with one another and continue to do good in the world. As a RPCV with a true heart for service, Victor serves as a board member and plans activities for members. These range from social activities to service projects, like volunteering at orphanages in Baja, serving meals at shelters, and cleaning our beaches.
“I enjoy our mission to help other organizations and people in need in other countries,” Victor said. “In addition, we have a strong board, and it is a joy to work together and socialize when we can despite the pandemic.”
Advocacy Supervisor II at Voices for Children
Volunteer with American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO)
Amanda grew up playing soccer in AYSO. As an adult, she now volunteers for the very same organization that instilled her lifelong love of the game.
“At this young age, this is usually the children’s first exposure to team sports, and I love seeing the progress they make through the season,” Amanda said.
Amanda is a current AYSO board member and coordinator of U5 Jamboree, the soccer division for children ages 4-5.
“They not only learn actual soccer skills, but also life skills like teamwork and perseverance,” she said.
Assistant Program Manager at Voices for Children
Volunteer for the Center for Conservation Biology
The University of California – Riverside Center for Conservation Biology’s research team is comprised of trained naturalists who conduct lizard and plant surveys to determine how climate changes is affecting desert flora and fauna. It’s a perfect volunteer role for Brianna, who is passionate about saving the planet.
“This work allows me to help the environment while being outdoors among nature with like-minded people,” Brianna said.
Philanthropy and Special Events Coordinator at Voices for Children
Volunteer at Ebenezer Church
As the Philanthropy and Special Events Coordinator at Voices for Children, Samantha makes sure our events go off without a hitch. She uses those same skills to oversee her church’s monthly Serve Day, along with her husband.
“The first Saturday of every month, the church partners with the community of Linda Vista in a variety of ways,” Samantha explained.
Past projects have included providing food, hygiene packages, and mobile showers for the homeless; renovating a van and furnishing studio apartments for people transitioning out of homelessness; supplying neighborhood families with free groceries, and more.
Director of Training at Voices for Children
Volunteer at San Diego Blood Bank
When Jenna isn’t overseeing Advocate University, a 35-hour training course all new CASAs take, you can find her volunteering at the San Diego Blood Bank. She greets and screens donors and makes sure they’re comfortable throughout the donation process.
“I love connecting with people, and also helping to make sure there is enough blood supply in our community for those who need it,” Jenna said.
“Because I work so closely with our newest volunteers at Voices for Children, I feel that it is really helpful for me to also have the perspective of being a volunteer,” she added.