Our Virtual Volunteer Team
I get a lot of letters from people thanking me personally for the work LWB does, and they always make me uncomfortable. The reality is that LWB is a worldwide team of volunteers, and they are the ones who truly deserve the thanks. We couldn’t be the personal foundation we are without the over 175 dedicated people who follow the kids so closely.
It has been suggested that LWB would be an interesting business model to study since our individual programs are run entirely by volunteers, many of whom put in up to 40 hour weeks to make sure the children we help receive medical care, or specialized formula, or a chance at an education. For those not familiar with our internal structure, it might interest you to know that every program we run has a main program director working full-time as a volunteer who oversees individual program coordinators working in specific areas of their programs. In our Huainan foster care program, for instance, we have three wonderful volunteers who work with our foster care director to watch over the 30 children in local foster families there. Each coordinator is responsible for a specific group of kids and works with our local manager in China to compile reports, read through them carefully each month to check on what each child might need, and refer any medical, nutrition, or education issues to the right team. They are also the ones who thank donors and send out monthly reports. It makes for an interesting model as we are spread out around the world — and we have no central office.
There are times that I wish we had some way to track every report sent or to check off when every “thank you” is mailed. We do not. What we do have, though, is the most wonderful group of volunteers in the world – moms and dads, college students and grandmothers, professors and social workers – who have each made a commitment to watch over a specific group of kids to make sure we are doing all we can for them. Just as those who volunteer for LWB are incredible people from all walks of life, so are our supporters. Each one is unique and important to the work we do and becomes part of our team. It is not just a cliché when I sign many emails with the words, “We cannot do it without you.” We know that this is a team effort.
We will do everything possible to make sure you stay connected to the kids whose lives you are changing. When you give to LWB, you should hear from one of our volunteers personally. Education reports are sent quarterly to sponsors. Medical reports are sent to donors at the time of surgery and then at one, three, six and twelve months post-op. Healing home and foster care sponsors should hear from us each and every month on the child you are helping.
If for any reason you are ever unhappy with the communication you receive from us, I hope you will let me know. Because we are a human foundation, I know there are moments of human error when a donor’s name mistakenly doesn’t get added to a child’s file or when an email ends up in a bulk mail folder. We are completely committed, however, to keeping the personal connection with our supporters that we have had since day one. We are so grateful for your support and for your continued belief that all children deserve the chance at knowing love. When we work together, both as donors and volunteers, AMAZING things happen for children deserving a second chance.
Amy Eldridge, Executive Director