1. How long have you been participating with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
I have been involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference for about 4 years now. My first introduction was in 2016 when my husband and I volunteered to be adult mentors for the youth’s Haunted House Committee. The following year, I was invited to join the Board of Directors and enthusiastically said yes!
2. How did you hear about Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
Prior to 2016, I had been acquaintances with Jennifer Bassett, frequently seeing each other at various community events and fundraisers. As I learned about the Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference mission, the idea of empowering youth in leadership and service touched my heart because I know firsthand that giving back to your community takes an inner compassion and a willingness to take action. Watching our youth embrace this concept, knowing they can make a real difference in the world around them, inspires me and is a joy to be a part of.
3. We know you could dedicate your time to many other boards/non profits in the community. What is your position on our Board and why did you choose Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
I am currently the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the External Affairs Committee, which is responsible to cultivate and steward donors and other supporters, and raise funds from external sources to support our annual budget. Volunteering for Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference is important to me because I see the positive impact the program has on our youth. In various capacities, they identify their strengths and passions, and become change agents to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. How can anyone say no to that?
4. What is your impression/experience with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference youth participants?
Oh my goodness, where do I start? They are articulate, confident, organized, engaging, creative, and not afraid to tackle projects or search for solutions to problems. I am continually impressed with their maturity and sense of commitment and responsibility. As I think about my time in high school, I was the shy girl who sat in the back of the classroom always afraid to raise my hand. This is not the case with Hands4Hope youth - - they develop the skill sets and confidence early on to be leaders for the rest of their lives.
5. Overall, what has your experience been like since being involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference and what is a favorite event and/or memory?
Supporting Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference has been very rewarding and has opened doors to new networks of friends who believe in the same cause. If you have some time to spare, I encourage anyone to consider volunteering for an organization because it fosters a deep sense of community and builds relationships, both of which are invaluable. Speaking of which, Hands4Hope’s recent Route 66 drive-thru fundraiser is my favorite event. In a year when we had to cancel our usual indoor fundraiser, we took it as an opportunity to think out of the box. Our planning team was very creative and amazing to work with, and the event was highly successful because of the community relationships we have built. I hold the deepest gratitude to everyone involved!
Andrea and her pup, Olive
Andrea and her husband, Tom, traveling in New Mexico