Three Generations of Givers
Left to right: Joan Wakeling, Pam Salvador and Alyse Payne connect three generations of volunteer work at the agency.
A grandmother, her daughter and two granddaughters all volunteer their time to FACS-Elgin - each one helping to make the difference in the life of a child.
Joan Wakeling started the family link with the Agency in 1982.
"The Agency provides such an invaluable service to the community and it's a pleasure to be involved with them," she said. "I suppose my enthusiasm has spread to my daughter and granddaughters as they're all volunteers now."
Joan started her connection with the Agency as a member of the Board of Directors. She thoroughly enjoyed her time at the Agency while serving on the Board and decided to stay involved when her term was finished.
In 1998, Joan discovered there was a need for volunteer drivers and thought she could help. Being a volunteer driver enabled Joan to provide some stability in the lives of children in care.
"These children look forward to seeing me as much as I look forward to seeing them. They know they can count on me to be there for them, and share a few laughs and some good times along the way," she said. "We look forward to our visits in the car just like the kids look forward to visiting their parents. It's really a nice experience to be a part of."
Joan said she continually gains immense satisfaction from being a volunteer with FACS-Elgin because she never feels like she is being taken for granted.
"It's a wonderful feeling the way staff show their appreciation. They always have kind words for the volunteers and show such support," she said. "It's an Agency that really shows they value their volunteers and that's important. It's nice to be needed and valued."
Joan said volunteering has given her life greater purpose, especially since retirement. But volunteering can be rewarding at any age - just ask Joan's daughter and granddaughters.
Pam Salvador, Joan's daughter, started at the Agency as a volunteer and eventually became a staff member. She said one of the many job benefits is the opportunity to meet different personalities within the course of a day, people that represent a broad spectrum of society.
Having her grandmother and aunt as such supporters of the Agency, it's not surprising 16-year-old Alyse Payne also joined the ranks as a volunteer with the Moms and Tots program.
"I look after the babies while their moms are being taught parenting skills," she said. "I get to feed them, rock them to sleep and play with them. It's a lot of fun.” Alyse said volunteering makes her feel good - like she is making a difference in her community.
"I really like the time I spend with the babies," she said. "And I can tell how much I am appreciated. It's cool."
17-year-old Nadia Salvador, Pam's daughter, also volunteered with the Moms and Tots program.