Please give a warm welcome to Karen Brown who joins Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference as our new Communications & Fundraising Coordinator!
Welcome, Karen! Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I grew up in the hills near Silicon Valley, but the Greater Sacramento area has been my home since attending college at UC Davis. My husband and I built our home in El Dorado Hills. We have a son who will be entering his Freshman year of high school in the Fall, and a daughter who will be in 5th grade. We also share our home with a relentlessly joyful shepherd mix dog named Bernoulli (his rescue into foster care involved a flight with a volunteer pilot’s small airplane), two judgmental and entertaining cats, and a cuddly 5-foot-long ball python.
What were you involved with before starting with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
For the last ten years, I’ve been very busy volunteering with community organizations like Buckeye Education Foundation, Friends of the El Dorado Hills Library, and Sierra Moms; as well as volunteering for my children's schools and numerous activities. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with kindhearted and hardworking community members of all ages and backgrounds, and believe that the work of volunteers in our community strengthens and improves the lives of us all. Previously, I spent 10 years working for RedRover, a Sacramento-based national nonprofit brings animals from crisis to care.
What do you like to do in your free time?
At home, you will likely find me listening to podcasts or audiobooks, since my headphones enable me to indulge while doing dishes, cooking, or cleaning to make sure that my household isn’t engulfed in pet hair. But when I truly have time to myself, I love my garden, and doing crafts of any kind, especially card making and scroll sawing. I'm a musical theater fan, and try to catch shows whenever I can. At this point in life I'm more of an audience member or back stage helper than a performer, but I am very proud that I was able to carve out time last year to sing with a mixed barbershop chorus for a season. As a family we enjoy going hiking and doing water activities like boating and paddleboarding. We travel and spend time with family whenever we can, and are dogged DIY-ers with a never-ending list of projects. And of course, I’m still spending a lot of time volunteering for several organizations!
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know or are surprised to learn?
I worked as a zookeeper right after college. It was a dream come true to train wild animals in the zoo’s education department and earn their trust, while encouraging conservation of their species and habitat by speaking to many audiences. My favorite animals to work with were the cheetahs, great horned owl, and red fox.
What are you most looking forward to in working with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
One thing I’m especially excited about is mentoring and learning from a new Social Media Committee to incorporate more youth perspectives and involvement into the Hands4Hope online messaging.
Anything else you would like to add?
I look forward to being inspired every day by how hard participating youth work to serve their community while developing leadership skills that will last a lifetime.