Meet our Volunteer, Amanda!

March 16, 2018 | Elizabeth Scarborough

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

I live in Decatur, Illinois, and I work for the county’s Regional Office of Education. I work as an assistant with the Technical Academy. Our mission is to bring vocational training back to area high school students by providing skills in trade programs such as Nursing, Welding, Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, and more.

My husband, Drew Burger, is a tattoo artist and owner/operator of his own tattoo & art studio. We have two children together – our fifteen year old son, Izaiah, who is an amazing artist as well; and our eleven year old music-loving daughter, Amelie. One of her first concert experiences was at age six when we took her to see Michael Franti in St. Louis.

At home, there are always art projects going on – drawing, painting, sculpting, wood working, jewelry making. When we are not at home, we enjoy time outdoors together usually camping and kayaking or hiking around with our two bulldogs.

 

What was your first impression of Do It For The Love?

I learned about Do It For the Love when I attended a concert of Michael Franti’s. If you’ve ever seen Michael in concert, you know he has an amazing stage presence – he is a positive and energetic force that really connects with his audience. I was pretty confident that he would bring those same qualities to this organization and would assemble a team with the same dynamic. When I started doing more research on DIFTL and talking to other volunteers, I could tell this was the case. All the volunteers described the work as very rewarding and fun. And the testimonials from families who have had wishes granted were so full of gratitude and kindness. I immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

 

What made you want to volunteer for Do It For The Love?

Live music events create such a unique atmosphere – you are surrounded by strangers, but the energy of the crowd and of the energy of the music makes everyone feel very connected to one another. You feel part of something so much bigger than yourself, a part of something special. And when you go to see your favorite band and hear your favorite songs, you completely forget about everything else that may be going on in life. It’s a very “living for the moment” feeling. This experience is such a beautiful gift to provide to someone who has faced severe challenges in life and who may be in need of having a positive experience. I wanted to do my part in helping DIFTL provide this gift to so many others. 

What are you most excited about with volunteering for Do It For The Love?

I am very excited that while I’m volunteering with DIFTL I’m connecting with so many new people throughout the Mid-West region as well as across the country. Prior to this, I’ve only volunteered with local projects. So it’s interesting to be working on something on a much bigger scale. This opportunity has allowed me to meet people from all different locations all with different backgrounds. It’s really great to be able to share our stories with one another.

 

What has surprised you the most about Do It For The Love?

I’ve been most surprised that every single volunteer gets to have a voice, which I feel is pretty unique considering that this is a nationwide organization. Everyone is encouraged to share their ideas and visions on how to successfully create awareness for DIFTL and how to assist with fundraising events. That type of environment creates the feeling of being part of a team. Volunteers aren’t present just to do the little things; you get to play an active role in this mission.

 

What other causes and organizations are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about being an active member in my local community. I previously worked as the Personnel Director for our county’s prosecutor’s office. During my seven years there, I assisted in supervising a non-profit organization that worked specifically with children who are the victims of crimes. We were also blessed to have a Domestic Violence Unit whose staff was incredible. They continuously worked hard to support the victims of domestic abuse. It was a very educational experience for me to work with such a great team and learn the criminal justice system.

I continue to support these efforts in my community.

I am also very passionate about education and advocacy for animals & pets. I currently serve as Treasurer/Secretary for a local non-profit, Soy City Animal Rescue & Relief Fund, that encourages animal rights and provides funding for local rescue agencies.

 

 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

No matter what type of volunteer work you are looking for, you will find an opportunity available with DIFTL. If you want to help out in your local community, you can do so by helping to raise awareness of DIFTL’s mission. If you want to help out on bigger scale, you will have the opportunity to help with creating and organizing fundraising events. Or if you like to help those in need, you can work with educating and assisting people who could be possible gift recipients of a DIFTL wish grant. There’s something for everyone. DIFTL is a very positive and energetic team to work with that has a very unique mission. You really will be part of something special.