Thursday, April 10, 2014

National Volunteer Week 2014, Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Adrienne!

“I volunteer for CASA because I love children and know that what I do in recruiting and preparing a trainee for advocacy or mentorship has a direct effect on the life of a CASA child.”

Adrienne has volunteered for CASA of SLO for 7 years, and is one of three ladies who work at the Recruitment Desk.

What do you do during a typical shift? On a typical shift I deal with responding to new people who have contacted CASA for information on becoming an Advocate or Mentor, and also give them information about our training classes. If they show a desire to pursue advocacy or mentoring, send us a completed application form and want to take a training class, I set up an interview for them and begin their background checks. If we have a training class in session I deal with the myriad of background checks and clearances needed for the trainee, and enter and monitor all of this information into CASA's data tracking system.   

What are some of your favorite things about volunteering? My favorite things about volunteering are the social interaction with the wonderful CASA staff and knowing that what I do makes a big difference in the lives of the CASA kids. I have always wanted to be able to do volunteer work in the community, but in the past was always so busy raising our children and working. Now in retirement, it's so gratifying to be able to be a volunteer.

What have you learned during your time at CASA?
During my time at CASA I have learned a lot about the foster care system and how CASA's work benefits at-risk children in the community. I knew nothing about CASA when I first began volunteering in the office with Patt Fuller who had recruited me to help her, as the workload at the Recruitment Desk was getting too much for her to handle on her own. In the past I had worked a lot in legal offices so all the legalities involved with the background checks and screening of trainees was very interesting to me.

Why do you volunteer for CASA? I volunteer for CASA because I love children and know that what I do in recruiting and preparing a trainee for advocacy or mentorship has a direct effect on the life of a CASA child. I also enjoy working in an office environment, keeping busy, and being a team player.    

Some fun facts: Well, I really can walk and chew gum at the same time! And I must say I do it pretty well! And the person really responsible for my involvement in CASA is my neighbor of 9 years, Linda Prier, who is the Accountant at CASA. When we retired, moved from Los Angeles in 2005 and bought our little retirement house in Los Osos next to Linda & Roger, Linda one day said to me....."Adrienne, you have way too much time on your hands! I know just where you're needed!" .......And the rest is history.    

More fun facts........I met my husband sitting next to him on a plane from Adelaide to Sydney in Australia.......a couple of pick-ups, like a Rock Hudson/Doris Day movie some have said. Also, I admit to having some "blonde moments" sometimes, but isn't that what keeps people interesting? I love lychee martinis -- or martinis of any kind come to think of it!  I love children, animals, nature, and am constantly in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. I feel I have had a blessed life, and that my father who died when I was little has had a hand somehow in guiding me along a safe path.   

Hidden talents:
 I can play the didgeridoo, sort of. I seem to be able to elude traffic cops as somehow I have managed to retain a clean driving record. I can make a mean raspberries & cream trifle, and luscious lemon bars. My secret desire is to be a back-up singer in a band.....I love to sing the blues. I know how to make people smile.

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