Volunteer Spotlight: Kelly Snider

Kelly Snider: Super Volunteer

KellySniderHow long have you been volunteering with WTAP?
I started volunteering in 2007 with my two children. We loved the diversity of every delivery we helped out with. I have been a part of deliveries, the Clothes Closet and Adopt a Family (holiday event).

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with WTAP?
While we have short interactions with those receiving our donations, the volunteers that I have met over the years, remind me of the goodness and kindness of others. I appreciate meeting new volunteers, and am always delighted to see returning faces on deliveries and at the Clothes Closets.

Why do you choose to donate your time to WTAP? At this point, I can’t imagine not volunteering with WTAP. I leave deliveries feeling so fortunate. Fortunate to have connected with other great volunteers, and fortunate to connect with refugee families who are so grateful for our assistance.

Describe an experience you had while volunteering that made you realize you were making a difference.
Truly, each delivery, Clothes Closet event, Adopt a Family event, I hope to make a difference for the volunteers and those who are receiving our services. When refugee families find that their apartments feel more like home, when small children find clothing that fits, and when a refugee father said Thank You for all of the gifts he received for his children during our Adopt a Family event – that fills my heart. Seeing volunteers cleaning kitchens, playing soccer with children, making beds, finding a cool Sponge Bob shirt for that 6 year old little boy – reminds me why I get up on Saturday’s and do what we do!

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I am lucky to work with a great consulting organization, we design, develop and facilitate training programs for large corporations. When I am in the office, I am a project manager and when I am out at client site, I am facilitating training events.

What secret powers or talents do you have?
Unfortunately no secret powers! I enjoy cooking, reading, hiking, entertaining and being with my family.

October 24, 2015

Flag of Cuba.svg    One family we will visit is from Cuba. The husband is thirty-eight years old and the wife is thirty-five years old. They arrived in the United States on May 27, 2015. The family fled Cuba due to the communist government’s strict control over the practice of religion in the country. The family experienced persecution due to their religious beliefs. The wife is a pediatrician while her husband is an electrical engineer. They left many family members in Cuba. However, the wife’s mother was very supportive of their decision to leave Cuba and seek a new life in the United States. Both the husband and wife would like to continue to work and achieve their professional goals here. The wife is attending school to gain US medical credentials. While they pursue work in their respective fields, they will take any work, in any capacity. They are very glad to be in America.

Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg     We will also visit a family of six from Congo who arrived in Arizona on August 19, 2015. The husband is twenty-nine years old while the wife is twenty-three years old. They have four children: two daughters (aged 9 and 7) and two sons (aged 11 and 3). The family fled the Congo to Uganda in 2010 due to the civil war in their country. The father continued his education in Uganda where he completed three years of high school. The wife worked as a nurse. All of the family members speak English, which will help them transition to life in their new community. In fact, all of the older children already attend school, in grades 6th, 4th and 2nd. The husband would like to study to become a pilot eventually. The wife is hoping to study to become a nurse in this country. The wife currently has employment in a hotel in Scottsdale. They are all very happy to be living in the safety and security of the United States where their children can receive a better education and thrive.

Flag_of_Myanmar.svgWe will also visit a family of four from Burma. The husband is thirty-eight years old and the wife is thirty-one years old. The couple has two sons who are seven and three years old. The family fled their home in Burma and traveled to Malaysia due to the Burmese civil war. They arrived in the United States on September 2, 2015. The oldest son is already enrolled in school, in the first grade. This couple is pleased to know that their sons will receive a good education in the United States. Eventually they hope to be able to purchase their own home and be able to live “the American dream”.


Volunteer Spotlight: Carly Fleege

Carly Fleege: Communications Committee Member

30499_915279325831_10024212_52424277_1651874_nHow long have you been volunteering with WTAP?I’ve been volunteering with WTAP since 2008.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with WTAP?
I’ve met selfless, incredible, and dedicated volunteers; and I’ve met refugees who have endured the unimaginable.  Those connections, however brief, are invaluable and immeasurable.
Why do you choose to donate your time to WTAP?
My heart has attached itself to WTAP’s mission of creating community connections and building bridges of neighborly understanding.  I think we can all relate to the desire to belong, feel connected to others, and have a place to call home.  As humans, we all have an instinctive desire to ensure our children and loved ones have access to life’s basic necessities and the freedom to pursue our greatest hopes and dreams.  Some of us may take for granted the comparative safety, security, and freedom we enjoy in the United States, but those things have been violently ripped away from those who bear the refugee status.  Refugees belong nowhere and to no one.  But WTAP provides an opportunity to welcome the world’s homeless in a loving, profound way.  We get to say, “You’re home, you’re loved, you belong, and now you can live a life of endless possibilities.  Don’t lose hope, your journey may not be over but you’ve come so far.  You’ve endured what we cannot begin to imagine but despite those obstacles, your strength, courage, and perseverance has gotten you here and will see you the rest of the way. Let us, your community and neighbors, help build a foundation for you to begin the next part of your journey.”
Describe an experience you had while volunteering that made you realize you were making a difference.
There isn’t a singular, defining experience that I’ve had with WTAP that made me realize I was making a difference.  Perhaps that’s because WTAP, as a whole, makes the difference.  As the old adage says, “it takes a village.”
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?  
If I’m not volunteering, I’m either working or spending time with my husband and two adorable rescue pups (adopt, don’t shop!).
What secret powers or talents do you have?
My secret power is probably neither a secret nor a power but a defining characteristic that fuels and drives me.  Those characteristics are empathy and love.