Leslie in the Spotlight for National Volunteer Month

April 4, 2018

A clipping from 2000 with a picture of Leslie.

Leslie Moore knows and loves children. She is fiercely dedicated to the children we serve and we cannot thank her enough. April is National Volunteer Month and we’re expressing our gratitude to Leslie. In fact, we are grateful to all of our volunteers who value the well-being of our community’s children!

Since retiring from ChildSavers in June 2016, Leslie has remained involved. She began to work with us in May 1997. Leslie’s first job with ChildSavers ensured children had access to healthy meals while in child care. Her work involved enrolling child care providers in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (USDA CACFP). She also helped register child care providers with the Voluntary Registration program.

Leslie worked in various roles for USDA CACFP until 2008, and began working in other projects in Child Development Services (CDS). Besides volunteering, her final role at ChildSavers was as a Supervisor of Child Care Aware.

A Passion for Children

When asked what she loves about volunteering at ChildSavers, Leslie said, “The kids, the kids, the kids! I love being able to interact with the kids in the waiting room. I started volunteering because I believe that the more positive interactions they can have with adults, the better; especially on an informal basis.” Moreover, for the kids in our waiting room, every interaction with Leslie is a positive one!

If you pass by the windows of the waiting room on a day Leslie is there, you can observe her sitting with multiple children, deeply engaged in an activity. In addition, you may note the calm and comfort surrounding Leslie. Leslie has this effect on children. When they sit with her, they get her full attention and this draws them to her.

“It is my goal when I am there to always try my best to affirm and encourage them,” Leslie said. She said encouragement could be praise for a coloring page or puzzle they completed. It could even be recognition for a game they are playing or affirmation for a book they are reading.

One of the most rewarding things for Leslie, is the look on children’s faces when they see her. “I love to see the smiles on the kid’s faces when they see I am there. They definitely enjoy having an adult in the waiting room that is there specifically for them.”

It’s not just the children who love seeing Leslie, it’s the adults too. Leslie noted that for some of the adults, it gives them time to relax or even join in on the fun and games.

Impact Beyond Volunteering

Leslie on a recent vacation.

Every week, Leslie comes in to volunteer in the waiting room. She knows many of the children and their families by name, and they know her name, too. They always light up when they see her. However, while she loves coloring and reading with them, sometimes Leslie’s volunteering reaches beyond.

Recently, one child, Violet*, was feeling overwhelmed by a writing assignment. Leslie sat with Violet and asked what she liked to read. Violet told Leslie her favorite characters and together they talked about what might happen to the character in the story. Violet wrote down her ideas. By the end of the conversation, Violet felt more confident about writing her paper. The next time Leslie saw her, Violet told her that her paper writing had gone well.

Why You Should Volunteer

Volunteering doesn’t just help nonprofits like ChildSavers. It also benefits you! Volunteering connects you deeply with your community and improves your sense of well-being. Leslie hopes you will join her in the waiting room to volunteer. For her, it has been a very rewarding experience.

For more information on volunteering at ChildSavers, click here or email Sarah Konigsburg at skonigsburg@childsavers.org. Please note that we require all volunteers to undergo an interview and a background check; this process can take one-three months.

 

*The names and details have been changed to protect the identity of the child.