I'm Ustina, the Development Coordinator at Invest in Kids. Since it's Volunteer Appreciation Week, I want to recognize one of our all-star volunteers, Shelby Turner. Shelby is a valuable member of our Development Committee and the Jane-A-Thon Planning Committee. Working closely with her on the Jane-A-Thon (JAT) has been so rewarding. Her ideas are fresh and contributions were a huge part of the event's success this year.
Read this interview with Shelby and learn her story of how she got involved with IIK!
Tell us more about you. What are your interests?
Shelby: I enjoy skiing in the winter (it's how I met my husband!), traveling (I just got back from two weeks in Vietnam), food (cooking and trying new restaurants) and hosting parties.
Have you always been a volunteer in life?
Shelby: Yes, I started out as a gift shop volunteer at a hospital in Des Moines, IA when I was 14 or 15 years old, so I've always enjoyed it. When I lived in Dallas, I was in the Junior League, where I served in a variety of roles from rocking babies in the NICU, working with adults with development disabilities, and serving in various finance and fund development roles.
How did you get involved with IIK?
Shelby: My first event was the breakfast at the Brown Palace and I was invited by my dear friend Amanda Fixsen to learn more about IIK.
Was there a particular moment when you realized you care about our cause or decided to give your time to IIK’s Development and JAT committee?
Shelby: After attending that breakfast and learning about the mission and the research based work, I asked about how I could get involved with fund development given the JAT and gala.
Side Note: The breakfast at the Brown Palace was back in 2016 with Ken Stern, author of With Charity For All. In his book, Sterns cites IIK as an example of a highly effective organization that shows opportunities for charities to grow through our best-operating structure, pioneering the investment-and-support model. That is, rather than making new programs, we identify those programs already proven to work and provide the infrastructure, training, coaching, and implementation supports needed to effectively bring them to communities.
Are there unique challenges and benefits to volunteering at IIK?
Shelby: Our biggest benefit is all of the research driven work that we do! Showcasing our data makes it easy to introduce IIK to others and provides a compelling argument for why IIK is so great! I will say I do wish there was a way to be more involved with our end client, as I think that always drives engagement.
Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had volunteering with us.
Shelby: I think my best memory was raising the most money ever for the JAT this year!! Watching the donations come through for an event that we spent a lot of time and energy was so rewarding!
What do you look forward to or think is in the future of IIK?
Shelby: We do so much research and I really look forward to seeing future programs we can apply our science to. Lastly, I'd just say that through IIK, I've really been able to use the skills I've learned in my professional career for a different purpose. When I moved to Denver 4 years ago, I was seeking a way to get involved in the community and volunteering with IIK has provided such a fulfilling experience and I look forward to all of our future successes!
In just one year you have contributed about 60 hours of volunteering to Invest in Kids. That's at least an hour a week! You so much to help us advance our mission and we're so lucky to have you on our side. Thank you Shelby!
Interested in volunteering with Invest in Kids? See how you can get involved here.