Santa Ana, California (February 5, 2013) – In celebration of 20 years of preparing challenged job seekers for success, WHW (Women Helping Women/Men2Work) asked 20 of their volunteers why they serve with the organization. Each person resides within Orange County, representing north, south, east and west, and enjoys offering hope and practical skills to those seeking employment.
• Lila Klein, a real estate investor who has volunteered with WHW for over 10 years said, “Often times someone just needs a helping hand.”
• Michelle Chen and Laurie Rowen both came to WHW in 2005 and have served the organization as Board Members and Event Planners through their own life transitions. Michelle could often be seen with baby in tow and Laurie continued to volunteer while opening her own business, Montage Legal Group.
• Marion Whitson of Dolphin Hair Design Too, has been providing free haircuts to WHW clients for 8 years. “I make them feel good about themselves when they are looking for a job,” Marion said with a big smile.
• In 2006, Lauri Batterman, who was looking for a smaller nonprofit where she could make a real difference, volunteered to be a personal shopper and help women select appropriate interview attire. Since then Lauri has become such a familiar face at WHW that it is hard to name a capacity she has not served in.
• Two of WHW’s many corporate partner volunteers, Susan Montoya of First Bank, and Trina Norman of UPS have served WHW clients for 6 years. Susan sponsors yearly clothing drives and Financial Literacy Workshops. And Trina brings truckloads of brown clad employees with her to participate in special projects at WHW including Saturday Sale preparation and prom dress transportation for WHW’s annual Belle of the Ball event.
• Nancy Dahlfors, who started volunteering in 2007, said that “Working with the women and men, as a personal shopper is both fun and rewarding. Each one has their personal story and it’s an amazing experience helping them on their journey towards job placement.”
• Aleks Braconi of Blue Lizard Media and Ann Harmer who is retired, both came to the organization in 2008. Aleks contributes her gift of marketing support and Ann works directly with clients to help them improve their interviewing skills. “The clients always say that they feel much more confident after attending the workshops, and this makes me happy!“
• Both Tonya Cocking of Moss Adams LLP, who sits on the Board of Directors as Treasurer and Betty Saporowski, a graphic designer who lends her artistic talents, have supported WHW for four years because they want to help people get back on their feet and get jobs.
• Christina Bennett, a former WHW client, returned as a volunteer three years ago. She often speaks on behalf of the organization telling her story and the impact WHW had on her life. “I volunteer because I want to give back. WHW and their many supporters are my heroes and I am forever thankful.”
• Michael Oliver, a financial representative with Pacific Advisors, Terri Hoggard, a former WHW client who works with Telecare Corp, Haroon Khan, a student, Marlyn Denter of Southern California Edison and Lee Nguyen with Basom Group have all volunteered for two years, each of them wanting to make someone else’s life better.
• Both Jim Kordenbrock, a financial services professional with Mass Mutual and David Dominquez just started volunteering with WHW a year ago and are rewarded by the impact they are making.
Together, these 20 volunteers represent almost 100 years of service, thousands of volunteer hours and immeasurable impact on the lives of challenged job seekers and their families. And all 20 volunteers agree that they get more than they give. Eight year volunteer, Michelle Chen sums it up this way, “I cannot speak to how I may have impacted the lives of others, but I can address the impact these clients have had on my life. Each year I have looked forward to hearing a personal heartfelt story from someone who has used WHW’s services and how they have improved their lives and the lives of those close to them. Each year, in listening to these stories, I am reminded how fortunate I am for all that I am blessed with and how grateful I am for those who have helped me along the way.”
About WHW (Women Helping Women/Men2Work)
WHW is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide comprehensive employment support services to empower disadvantaged men, women and teens to achieve economic self sufficiency through employment success and who has served over 30,000 clients since 1993. WHW’s 20 year Employment Success Program includes resume and interviewing skills, workshops, computer classes, job placement, image consulting, professional clothing appropriate for interviews and transportation services. Supported by over 1000 volunteers and United Way, WHW’s services are always at no charge or obligation to clients and referring non-profit partners. For more information on WHW and its Employment Success Program, go to www.whw.org.