Pack for a Purpose has benefitted from the talents and skills of many professionals who have volunteered their time to support our all-volunteer non-profit.
A great idea is only a vision until somebody gives it shape and form. In the case of Pack for a Purpose, my vision took shape and form when Justin Scheef, our incredibly talented and committed webmaster, created our website. For the last eleven years, he has provided his services pro bono to Pack for a Purpose. As a result, Justin makes sure our website always encompasses the highest standards and is easy for our users to navigate.
He also took on the difficult task of teaching me computer skills, as I was fundamentally a computer illiterate. To say I was reluctant is a considerable understatement. However, his persistence has enabled me to have the skills of the average 11-year-old. Justin led me into the 21st century, and my husband is most grateful for that. Justin’s years of experience and generosity of time make Pack for a Purpose possible.
Erik Macenas introduced me to Justin. Erik is an incredibly creative person and a talented graphic designer. While I only asked him to design our logo, he stayed on board and created the graphic design for our entire website! Erik continued to volunteer through two more iterations of the website, and he is still available when his skills are requested. To this day we hear from users about how easy it is to navigate our website and how clean and elegant the design is. I truly believe that Eric and Justin were the “mid-husbands” who delivered Pack for a Purpose.
Kristen Hoyle has been a good friend of mine for many years. She is also a CPA and a partner in the firm of Thomas, Judy, and Tucker. So naturally, I reached out to her with my idea and invited her to be a Board member. She graciously agreed and has provided all required financial services pro bono for the last eleven years. She guided us by qualifying for 501(c)(3) status and ensuring that tax forms have been filed properly every year. Of course, she also Packs for a Purpose whenever possible on her travels.
Cindy Wittmer, an attorney, and another dear friend, also joined our Board and offered her legal services pro bono. Cindy’s excellent intellect, generous heart, and thoughtful demeaner, simply made the world a better place. I am fortunate to have called her a friend. She assisted us in registering our trademarks and made sure that we met all the legal requirements involved with the use of photos on the website. Unfortunately, Cindy passed away two years ago this July, but her presence is very much with us. In her memory, Christopher M. Thomas from her firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP, has continued to offer the firm’s services pro bono.
Bob Richards and Giavanna Richards have been providing their volunteer services for seven years. Their daughter Alicia interned at PfaP and introduced her parents to me. We became good friends, and I reached out to them for assistance. Bob developed a link check app that has saved us hundreds of hours over the last seven years. Each month, we check the links of over 400 participants on our website, confirming that Pack for a Purpose is present on their websites. Bob first brought to my attention that we needed a Style Guide. “I thought that was only for fashion shows,” I said. Bob, being patient and kind, set me straight, and together we developed a Style Guide that we use to this day.
Giavanna has been our official Keeper of the Data. Giavanna manages Salesforce for us. She keeps track of volunteer hours, the weight of supplies received for the projects, sends out supply requests, and updates the data for each participant as needed. In her professional capacity, she has worked at IBM for over 25 years.
No person is an island, and no volunteer non-profit can thrive without the dedication and skills that professionals offer. We are truly fortunate at Pack for a Purpose to have this committed team. Kudos to each of them for their skills and their willingness to contribute those skills for the benefit of others.