Families Forward SOV 22

Published: April 13, 2022

Families Forward

Honoree’s Name: Kathy Gabrielian

Award Category: Hunger & Homelessness

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Kathy Gabrielian

Families Forward’s Back-to-School backpack program hasn’t been the same since Kathy Gabrielian joined us as a volunteer nearly six years ago. Friends had invited Kathy and her husband to participate in our annual Gala event and she was inspired to explore our volunteer opportunities to help families in need.

Kathy arrives early to make sure everything is organized and ready for the volunteer groups that will assemble much-needed backpacks for students. Kathy is motivated and eager to make sure every volunteer group has a great experience assembling backpacks. After several hours of putting together backpacks filled with supplies for the school year ahead, Kathy stays and helps clean up.

Kathy is kind, patient, and empathic to everyone she speaks to, especially when people call Families Forward for help. She started in September 2016 as a front desk volunteer and is always eager to come in and start getting to work, making sure clients are getting the information they need. If she doesn’t know the answer, she asks staff for help and when the front desk is slow, she asks if she can assist with any other tasks. She’s always happy to help in a diligent, thoughtful way.

Our Volunteer Advisory Committee also benefits from Kathy’s participation. This committee serves as a resource to advance the mission, programs, and resources of Families Forward and to enhance and improve the volunteer experience. During our Seasonal programs, Kathy recruits her family to help our client families receive holiday meals or participate in the Adopt-a-Family program. Kathy’s positivity radiates to staff and clients with warmth and a smile on her face. It feels like Kathy is a volunteer who will be with us for a long time.