Volunteer – It's Contagious!

As a young professional, she sat across the desk from her boss, and received her annual performance review. It was a good review, but with one big challenge. Her boss gave her an action item that tasked her to volunteer in the El Dorado County community. A bit of a challenge since she was already working 60 hours a week. However, once she started volunteering there was no stopping her.
I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Howard, Principal Planner at Parker Development Company, and Board of Trustees Member at Marshall Foundation. Andrea describes philanthropy as contagious, that the more you do, the more you want to do.
Q. How did you connect with Marshall Medical and Marshall Foundation?
A. Marshall Foundation Executive Director, Karen Good, recruited me. Karen and I kept running into each other at non-profit events. Karen introduced herself and broke the ice. My work with the foundation evolved from there. As a first step, I became a Community Member which gave me an opportunity to get to know the Foundation, and how I best fit in.
Q. What interests you most about the Foundation?
A. I’m now a Board of Trustees Member, and involved on several committees, including: Annual Funding, Strategic Planning and the annual Bob West Drive for Marshall. I enjoy being on the Board and feel it roots me deeply into the community. El Dorado County has big needs, and I get to meet and work with great people. I enjoy seeing families with multiple generations of charitable giving.
Q. What would you say to others that may want to make a difference in our community, but may not have the financial resources?
A. There are many ways to support the needs that we have in our community. Consider donating a raffle prize or gift to a live auction. But the most important gift is to give of yourself. Consider volunteering your time to set up an event or give of yourself in someway. At a recent event for the Women’s Fund El Dorado, someone suggested the need for an “Angie’s List for non-profits”. The concept focuses on engaging and building a list of community members to provide professional expertise and assist non-profits with special projects and services that they cannot perform in-house, such as reviewing and negotiating a real estate lease. I thought the idea was very intriguing and a creative way for community members to donate their time and skills to leverage their charitable donations.
Q. Tell me about Olive, your Lab.
A. Well, my husband Tom and I attended a Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising event in the fall. As part of the auction, there were two dogs, one of which was a black lab. During socializing, each dog handler worked the room, meeting and greeting guests. The lab really caught my eye, so I asked the handler to work the man across the room, and pointed Tom out. We came home with our beautiful lab that night and she instantly became part of our family. Olive enjoys playing with her brother, Woody, and she even has her own Facebook page to chronicle her adventures.
 Q. What goals do you have for Marshall Foundation?Andrea & Olive
A. The Foundation’s mission is to support Marshall Medical Center and other community health programs through philanthropy. This mission perfectly unites my belief in leading a healthy and active lifestyle with a growing passion for giving and serving my community. As an ambassador for the Foundation, I think it is vital that every member of our county understands the role of the Foundation to assist those in need. And our local needs are very pressing, ranging from support services for the mentally ill, treatments for substance abuse, and caring for our aging population. My goal is to expand the umbrella of our outreach, bolster relationships with donors, and strengthen our position in the community to ease the demands on our local hospital. In doing so, we achieve something great: promoting the health and wellness of our residents and strengthening the social connections between us.
The visionary leaders of Marshall Foundation have provided assistance for the pressing healthcare needs of the community for over 41 years. Check out the website at Marshall Foundation, and join the conversation on Facebook. Your support stays local, and serves those on the Western Slope of El Dorado County.

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