When did you first get involved with CCFI?
My first time to volunteer with CCFI was when the Office of Student Life at OU volunteered as a group with their Holiday Wishes event about 5 years ago. It was a great time to community build with the office but to do something that gave back to the community. We have been doing it ever since.
Why were you moved to join CCFI as a volunteer?
I really believe in the mission of CCFI. I love how holistic their approach is- healing children, empowering youth and strengthening families. They try to make sure the whole family is taken care of through the different parts of their lives and journey through the various services offered. Whether it is making sure children have a safe place to be a kid or parents are receiving services to help move their families forward, CCFI cares about the entire well-being of the family. I think that is what sets them apart from other community agencies. They look at how the whole family could be strengthened rather than just focusing on one part of the family unit.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I have worked with the Boys and Girls club for the past year as a weekly volunteer. Being able to serve in this role has allowed me appreciate the work that the CCFI staff and the Boys and Girls Club of Norman (BGCN) staff do on a regular basis. The fact there is a dedicated team who work day in and day out solely for these kids success is inspiring. They display a passion and commitment to the kids.
What brings me back every week are the kids! They are so full of promise, hope and potential and it is so great to see that on display every week. Spending time playing tag with a student, telling stories, drawing pictures or playing in the gym gives you a greater appreciation for the resiliency of these kids and shows you just how incredible they are. Their ability to bring perspective to my life on a weekly basis is an incredible reminder of the work being done at CCFI and pushes me to continue to be a champion and an advocate for these children.
What do you feel is the biggest impact CCFI has made on the community?
The biggest impact on the community has been the impact on the kids. It has been so awesome seeing how the children who are at BGCN have grown during the time I have volunteered with them. I have seen these kids grow in their level of confidence, their improved behavior and their friendships. These kids have an incredible community and they know there are people that care about them and want the best for them. It has been so cool seeing the relationships form between the kids, the staff and the volunteers and how excited everyone gets to see each other.
What would you like to say to encourage others to volunteer at CCFI?
DO IT! You will not regret it. Life can be busy, we can be bogged down by the day-to-day, and volunteering at CCFI will energize you and restore you. It is a great opportunity to give back to the community and serves as a reminder of the need for great people, like you, to find ways to make this community better for everyone in it. I promise you will get more from it than you will give to it. These kids will change your life for the better.