I was exposed to volunteerism at a young age. When my mom was ill, she and my dad were unemployed, and I remember at Christmas time receiving donations of gifts, and oil for heat. My dad raised my younger brothers and me after our mom passed when I was 9. Dad was 1 of 7 kids raised in Portland with little money. He’s a Vietnam Vet who lost his mom while he was overseas, and now receives VA treatment for PTSD. His dad, my grandfather, was a wounded WWII Veteran with PTSD as well. Volunteering is something I always wanted to do, just like others helped us. As a Girl Scout, we made and delivered May Day baskets and Christmas wreaths to a local nursing home. In middle school I volunteered as an elementary school teacher’s aide, and in high school I was part of Deering’s Rumphius Project and also visited residents at St. Joseph’s Manor. I love having a big vegetable and herb garden during the summer so I can share what I grow. It makes my heart burst! We have 2 dogs in our family, rescues from Georgia. We adopted Twizzler the same day I started on the board at Amistad 5 years ago, so it’s a happy anniversary.