Our 90th Anniversary brings us another great volunteer who has helped with our largest fundraiser and community event. Eight years ago, Shawna Picker was scouring the Internet to find a place to volunteer. She came across Friendly Center’s volunteer opportunities to work in our booths at the Orange International Street Fair on Labor Day weekend. After her first year with us at Street Fair, Shawna learned of Friendly Center’s many programs for less-fortunate families and wanted to stay involved. For the last eight years Shawna has faithfully committed to volunteering at Street Fair and, in addition, at our Holiday Outreach Party in December.
Every Labor Day weekend Shawna sees familiar faces from Street Fairs past and meets new friends too, helping Friendly Center sell Mexican food, beer and chili pepper necklaces at our largest fundraiser of the year (over 4,000 tacos sold!). In turn, she loves interacting with the hundreds of children and families we serve with toys and food during the Holiday Outreach Party. When asked why she comes back to both events each year she says “I have a heart to serve and I have a heart for the kids.”
If you happen to work alongside her at Street Fair, she will be sure to tell you about the Holiday Outreach Party. While volunteering can be fun and rewarding, it is often more rewarding when you remember why you volunteer. For Shawna, it is knowing she is helping many children in need by helping Friendly Center each year. She not only gives of her time, but gives a piece of her heart to kids that need a little hope in their lives. What may have started as a simple Internet search eight years ago, has become an outlet for her servant’s heart.