Top Left: Opening celebration of the NueroScience Health Center at Stanford Healthcare with Neuro Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).  Top Right: Myself and Bright, a first year medical student I helped mentor through a program at Stanford Healthcare.  Bottom Left: Disability Capital Action Day in Sacramento, June, 2015. Board and Staff of the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID)  Bottom Right: Disability Advocates, myself, Ligia Andrade, Craig McCullough and MaryLou Naccarato at a San Mateo County luncheon.

Top Left: Opening celebration of the NueroScience Health Center at Stanford Healthcare with Neuro Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Top Right: Myself and Bright, a first year medical student I helped mentor through a program at Stanford Healthcare.

Bottom Left: Disability Capital Action Day in Sacramento, June, 2015. Board and Staff of the Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities (CID)

Bottom Right: Disability Advocates, myself, Ligia Andrade, Craig McCullough and MaryLou Naccarato at a San Mateo County luncheon.

 
 

About why i volunteer...

My first life experiences of volunteer service go back to my youth when I was a Campfire Girl from first through 12th grade. We did everything from plant trees to Arbor Day to write letters to veterans on Memorial Day. My group leader always made the projects fun and creative, but we always understood that giving of our time or talents for something bigger than ourselves was the real purpose.

When adulthood entered my life my time and ability to volunteer lessened. I was learning to navigate the world as a disabled adult, while meeting my responsibilities to keep a job that put food on my table and a roof over my head. But I never stopped caring. Any opportunity that came up to do something for others, I would. I remember one year at my first job a friend of mine and I sponsored a family at Christmas.

Now, married, and more financially secure, I don't have to work outside of the home. That has given me the time, and energy, to prioritize community engagement and volunteer service. I serve as the Chairwoman for two non-profit boards and one advisory council at Standford Healthcare. As Sheryl Sandberg would say, I "leaned in" to all three positions. Non-profit governance and community engagement is something I didn't learn overnight. I had to show up, listen, and be wiling to learn.

And I am so glad that I did. I am not making my volunteerism a focus of my website as a way to boast or brag. I'm very humbled and blessed for the opportunities that have unfolded for me. I work very hard to make those I work with, and for, proud. I felt it important to include my volunteer work because it is a part of who I am. It is part of my life-story. The fact of the matter is that my disability prevents me from working full time. Volunteering provides me the ability to be productive, utilize my skills, meet new people, and contribute to the communities that are important to me.

I may not be able to do everything. But I can always do something. And as I'm realizing as I enter mid-life, a lot of somethings become everything, even though it doesn't feel like it at the time.

 
 
Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.
— John Wesley