With the Deepest Gratitude
Today I want to publicly thank one of our amazing volunteers – Suzanne Damstedt. I first had the honor of meeting Suzanne by phone back in 2006, when she was in the process of adopting an older child helped by LWB. At the time she was the mother of six children, and she was trying to learn everything she could about adoption. I still remember that phone call because her kindness and genuine nature came through in every word she said. I was so happy when she and her husband brought their daughter home, and they have now adopted three older children from China.
Soon after Suzanne’s first child from China came home, she began volunteering for LWB. Her passion and commitment to the kids was so evident that in 2008 we asked her to become one of our volunteer program directors, leading the Nutrition and Orphanage Assistance program. It would take me pages to describe all of the wonderful projects she has coordinated for the kids. From supplying safe cribs and warms coats to incubators and new clothing, Suzanne was often the first person people would talk to in LWB when they wanted to do a project for their child’s orphanage.
Suzanne also helped strengthen our PT program by sourcing equipment and specialists for training, and she coordinated the hiring of extra nannies and even doctors for rural orphanages. In addition to all the projects she was managing, Suzanne’s fundraising skills became quite legendary among us. Back in 2008, when LWB won the first ever Chase Giving Challenge on Facebook, it was Suzanne who was behind the scenes organizing votes and cheering us on each day. She was continually thinking of new ways to raise funds for the children, including entering a contest sponsored by Ford Focus which had her driving all over the NW United States to win $10,000 for baby formula. That was pure dedication with the goal of changing a child’s life.
This fall Suzanne decided to enter graduate school, and so she has made the difficult decision to step down as an LWB director. I am so very sad to see her go, but I am giving thanks for having the honor to work with her for so long. Suzanne is creative, intelligent, and she has a heart of gold. She is a tireless advocate for children born with special needs, and I know so many children are now safely home in their families because of her help.
Thank you Suzanne – from all of us at LWB. There just aren’t enough words to tell you how grateful we are for all you have done on behalf of the kids.
Amy Eldridge, CEO