Adult volunteer Dawn Fortino has jumped into essential behind-the-scenes administrative and leadership work for Hands4Hope, most recently taking the reigns to expertly lead the Endless Summer Beach Party Committee. Read on to learn more about how she became involved.
How long have you been participating with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
After leaving my corporate job at the end of 2022, I was excited to have the time to volunteer in the community I love. My husband and I moved to El Dorado Hills in 1996 and raised our two children here, so giving back to this incredible community was top of mind. In January 2023, the first call I made was to Hands4Hope to see if they could use my help. I was thrilled when Jennifer Bassett called me back and asked when I could start. The answer, of course, was right now.
What drew you to Hands4Hope? I was drawn to Hands4Hope because both of my children were involved with Hands4Hope during their middle school years. My son volunteered at a few events, but my daughter really embraced it and not only volunteered, but also took a leadership role. The positive impact Hands4Hope had on my children was invaluable. It's so important for the youth to think about something/someone other than themselves and to have a service mindset. It also provided a tremendous opportunity to develop leadership skills which has served as a fantastic foundation into their adult professional lives.
Tell us more about your volunteer roles with Hands4Hope.
I started helping in the El Dorado Hills Youth Center doing administrative work and then was asked to project manage the Endless Summer Beach Party. It was a wonderful experience working with a dedicated team of Hands4Hope staff, board members, and adult volunteers. The ESBP was a beautiful, fun, and successful event and I loved being a part of the team.
What is a highlight from your experiences?
It was incredibly inspiring to listen to the youth speak at the Endless Summer Beach Party and hear the profound impact this organization is making on their lives. It was also wonderful to see the many youth volunteers participate at the event by welcoming guests, serving food, selling raffle tickets, dancing, and having fun!
Dawn's leadership and willingness to jump in to help behind the scenes in these essential ways has truly made an impact for Hands4Hope, and we are so grateful for her continued involvement!