LWB Community Blog

A Day In the Life of the Ladies of Human Resources

Did you realize that LWB has a Human Resources Department? Managing the 170 volunteers from around the world who make LWB run is one of those behind the scenes operations that most people don’t really consider.   However, without our HR department to recruit, hire and train volunteers…LWB would grind to a halt! Our HR department consists of three amazing women who were kind enough to give us a glimpse into their lives with LWB.

Kristine Fornek, Human Resources Director for LWB: As a new first-time Mom to an incredible six year old son who is taking the world by storm (seen hamming it up in the top photo), I am kept rather busy…my own world has been ROCKED and I’m loving life!  I work full time during the day as a recruiter and spend time after work with my son doing homework, reading, games, etc. After dinner and bedtime stories, it’s time for LWB. I get correspondence from volunteers all over the world. I work with an incredible team of women, and together we do things like process and track new applicants, assist Program Managers with their hiring needs, document job descriptions, etc. No two days are alike, and that is one aspect that makes this role so enjoyable.

While I was a waiting parent, I was very active with many Yahoo support groups, and LWB always had a presence on those boards. I found their postings to be very informative and uplifting and over time, I learned more about this grassroots organization. Amy Eldridge’s impassioned updates on current events in China (crippling snowstorms in six of China’s provinces and the devastating earthquakes in Sichuan Province in 2008) and how these events affected the children in orphanages there was inspiring and had a profound effect on me. The more I learned about how LWB started and how they grew to have such an impact on the lives of so many beautiful children in China, the more I wanted to be a part of this organization.

I truly enjoy being a part of an organization that is helping to make such a difference in the lives of these beautiful children. When I see the reports of children that are healing after successful surgeries, preemies that are no longer at risk, or the beaming smiles of children when they receive formula or new clothing or medical equipment…it just makes my day! The reports that we receive from our Education and Foster Care programs are equally as rewarding. The older children are able to truly express their joy, and their smiles say it all. It’s impossible not to be touched by the many stories each day. Our greatest joy is in learning that “our kids” will soon be united with their forever families. To know that my small contribution, when combined with the contributions of so many other like-minded volunteers, makes such a difference is incredibly fulfilling.

Nancy Williams, Associate Human Resources Director for LWB: I worked with a small education program in Kaifeng for two of my three years with LWB. When this program became smaller, I joined HR. As a mom to two girls ages 6 & 8 who also works a full-time job, my time available for LWB is limited. I usually check LWB email first thing in the morning, at noon and sometimes after kids’ bedtime at night. A lot of my HR work is project-based, so it’s easier to do on weekends or late at night. Lately, we’ve had a wonderful influx of new volunteers, so I try to get the initial set up done within 24 hours and catch up on the behind the scenes paperwork later. With my Kaifeng Education program, the quarterly reports take about 10 hours and the financials take another few hours a quarter which makes it a very manageable program for someone who works full time.

The thing I enjoy most about working with LWB is seeing kids get what they need and seeing them have someone who cares. I also really enjoy that the volunteers are all such special people with their own talents to contribute, and it’s been such a pleasure to get to know them. For the most part, this is all via e-mails, but I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few in person too.

Janna Gilkison, New Volunteer Coordinator for LWB HR: I heard about LWB through a friend who had recently adopted a baby who had benefited from the care of LWB. Her child received surgery and was placed in foster care as well. She was so thankful for all the love that her daughter received while she could not be with her. I was excited to be able to come on board to help LWB get its new volunteers up and running!

I usually check my email every other day. In addition, I carve out one day of the week to be my LWB day! I respond to new volunteer applications, forward them onto Program Directors and send the appropriate paperwork to volunteers in the process of on-boarding. I have communication with new volunteers by sending them the LWB Handbook and welcome letter. The best thing about volunteering with LWB is hearing of all the good work that is being done for these kids. The photos of smiling children after they have been touched by LWB are priceless!

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