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Youth Spotlight: Gabby Dailey

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Gabby Dailey was in 6th grade when she first learned about Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference through her mom. Gabby, along with her mom and sister, began transporting toiletries and food from the Hands4Hope Youth Center to Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento, where they, along with a group of Hands4Hope participants, distributed supplies and bag lunches. She would look forward to that event every month, but when the pandemic forced a stop to that program, she looked at all the other ways she could be involved with Hands4Hope... and jumped right in!

Now a junior, Gabby is serving in her second term as Secretary of the Oak Ridge High School Empower Club, and her third year as a member of the club. Read on to learn what committee she is now chairing, and all the other ways she has participated.

What club, committees, and community engagement outreaches have you participated in?

At Rolling Hills Middle School, I was part of the on-campus Hands4Hope Club in 7th and 8th grade. The pandemic shut us down in the middle of 7th grade, so we couldn’t finish our project, and in 8th grade, the club met online so we couldn’t do much. But when I started Oak Ridge as a freshman I joined the Empower On-Campus Club. In my sophomore year, I became the Secretary for Empower. I loved that leadership position so much that I continued to be this year's secretary as a junior. Along with that I have done other events and outreaches such as Empty Bowls, School Supply Drive, the Winter Boutique and others. Speaking of the Winter Boutique, I am this year's Committee Chair. It has been so much fun holding these leadership positions and I’ve learned so much!

How did you hear about Hands4Hope and what motivated you to join?

I first heard about Hands4Hope through my mom in the 6th grade. She asked me and my sister if we wanted to go to downtown Sacramento and help the homeless. The following weekend, we went to the Hands4Hope Youth Center to prepare bag lunches, and load up the lunches and toiletries to carpool to Loaves and Fishes. From there, unhoused people got a free lunch in the Loaves and Fishes facility, and would then come outside to us to get a packed meal for later. Seeing the smiles on their faces and how thankful they were motivated me to want to understand their situations and help them as much as I could. After that, I would always ask my mom if there was another event like that coming up. We continued to do those outreaches until the pandemic happened. Hands4Hope stopped doing that specific outreach, so I looked for others. This sparked my interest in Hands4Hope as a whole.

What has been your favorite memory so far with Hands4Hope?

My favorite memory with Hands4Hope was actually a few nights ago while I was volunteering at the Nashville Songwriters Live event. I originally was just going to stay for the first few hours to help with the merchandise table, but we were asked to stay for the whole show so we could run the merchandise table after the show as well. Another volunteer I had met once or twice before at other events stayed to help, too. We found seats in the back row of the concert and listened to the music and stories that were shared throughout the evening. We talked about the country artists that we both listened to, and how amazing the event turned out.

Afterwards we and another volunteering friend went backstage and were able to meet two of the performers, Jeffrey Steele and Mark McKay. We got photos and signed autographs. It was so much fun "fangirling" together and it was absolutely amazing! It didn't even feel like volunteering at that point. It felt like hanging out with people you didn't know too well and getting to know them more.

What would you tell someone who is considering joining Hands4Hope ? How do you see yourself being involved in the future?

I would tell someone who is considering joining Hands4Hope to 100% join! Hands4Hope has always been so much fun! It doesn’t feel like volunteering, it feels more like getting to know your community better. You gain so many skills and can make new friends. We’re like a family here. In the future I plan on being part of more committees, events, and outreaches, as well as a leader for Empower Club next year.

What other activities do you enjoy?

Other activities I enjoy besides Hands4Hope are hanging out with friends and family, playing volleyball, listening to music, and reading.

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