After Carol and Jim Hebets moved to Phoenix in 1985 from San Diego, Carol served on the board of Arizona Foundation for Women. During her board service, Carol met Sara O’Meara, who, along with Yvonne Fedderson, founded Childhelp, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping abused, neglected and at-risk children. Once Carol and Jim learned more about the organization, they quickly jumped on board as volunteers.
Over the years, Carol has chaired and participated in numerous fundraisers as a volunteer, including the Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala. Thirteen years ago, Carol founded the Childhelp Wings Chapter for Mothers and Daughters (which now includes sons) to help the community learn about giving back and the importance of philanthropy.
Childhelp’s programs and services include residential treatment services, children’s advocacy centers, therapeutic foster care and group homes and child abuse prevention, education and training. Read on to see how Carol has made an impact as a Childhelp volunteer.
Q: Can you tell me about a memorable moment you’ve had working with Childhelp?
A: The first time we visited the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont, Calif., we met so many precious children that were so proud to be living at the Village, as it was the only place they ever felt loved and safe. It warmed my heart to see the children perform in the Christmas Program at the Village. One of the little boys, who had never spoken due to being so severely damaged from abuse, was playing the role of a lamb in the show. He was told to say “Baaaa,” which they didn’t expect him to be able to do. But, in fact, he did say “Baaaa” and everyone applauded and then he kept on saying, “Baaaa, Baaaa, Baaaa.” It was a precious moment to see him come out of his shell, if even just for a moment.
Q: How does it feel to make an impact in the lives of the children and their families?
A: My heart feels incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to serve in some capacity to make a difference and give a voice to the precious children we serve. It truly brings me great joy.
Q: What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with Childhelp?
A: I speak to people frequently about how fulfilling it is to be a part of the Childhelp family of volunteers. The organization was founded on the premise that the volunteers are the backbone of the charity and it truly gives them purpose helping the children. We have chapters in many cities and are growing our Phoenix chapter, where we are always looking to add members. The chapter puts on a fun event every year called, “25 Men Who Think They Can Cook,” and brings in prominent community members to cook and celebrity chefs to judge.
Q: What would you like others to know about Childhelp?
A: It is important for donors to know that 90 percent of the fundraising dollars go directly toward the programs serving the children in our care. We are about to launch a Survivors Network so that the millions of survivors of abuse are able to access means for healing and are able to share how they have overcome their life situations and help others heal in the process. Childhelp is a national organization and we are celebrating the 60th Anniversary in 2019. We will be hosting our annual Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala on Feb. 2 at The Phoenician Resort and welcome anyone interested to check out childhelp.org to learn how they can become a part of the Childhelp family.
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