Each year, the school that I work at puts up a Mitten Tree for the teachers and families as a way to support the organization WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger). As their website states, “WINGS provides a pathway to independence for adults and children who are escaping from domestic violence and abuse.” I interviewed Pam Adams, who coordinates this event at my school each year. As you read her words, you will find that this is a wonderful way to give back.
What is the Mitten Tree? The Mitten Tree is a way for people to help others. The mittens with wish list tags are hung on a tree for families and staff of Bright Horizons at Deer Park to choose from and buy a special gift for them. They purchase the requested item, and return it by the set day so that the WINGS staff member can pick them up to deliver to the families.
Why do you feel so passionate about this event? I feel passionate about this organization and event because I know how it feels for others to reach out to others in need and give happiness and love. It warms my heart to give back and be part of a positive thing. When I needed help, support and love raising 3 small children an organization reached out to me; this is my way of giving back and saying thank you.
One of the local WINGS locations has a Bright Space that Bright Horizons supports through their Foundation for Children Program. Teachers like you, Pam, coordinate activities as well as volunteer there throughout the year. What do you do there? Once a month, myself and other volunteers go over and bring some fun to the children staying there with crafts, stories and games. It is a chance for the mothers to have a little time for themselves or they can join in too.
How did you get involved in this? Fifteen years ago, when the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children talked about building and creating a Bright Space, I reached out to my mentor Amanda Foege and said that I wanted to be part of this adventure.
What would you say to others about volunteering? It gives you a chance and time to have an experience outside of yourself. It is wonderful when you find what you love to do.
Anything else you want to add? I am grateful for being part of this adventure and opportunity that Bright Horizons has to offer. I find being part of this is meaningful and enriching to my soul.
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