Serve Together, Stay Together

The Swindell Family

The Swindell family truly has taken the idea of those that serve together, stay together.

Kara Swindell is a science teacher at Margaret Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. She came to the Volunteer Center about ten years ago when her school asked her to be Youth In Service sponsor. The goal of our Youth in Service Program is to build the next generation of community leaders by recognizing young people for the service they provide and by giving them training and support to develop service programs in their schools. When Kara began with the YIS program, she had no idea the many programs and agencies the Volunteer Center touches.

Kara is proud to say that her Youth In Service students are caring, compassionate and driven to make an impact. They often seek out volunteer opportunities outside of the program. She loves to watch their excitement build as they plan a new project, reach out to agencies with new-found confidence, and strive to make each project a success. Seeing these young people find their volunteering “place” in the community is truly inspiring. The Volunteer Center gives them this avenue to become leaders and role models.

Kara describes the Volunteer Center as the “glue that holds it all together.” – providing support, being cheerleaders, and facilitating interactions within the community.

From the Heart

As her son Spencer grew older, he watched with curiosity as his parents engaged in volunteering.  Kara and her husband Rick decided to engage in our From the Heart program to help get Spencer involved. Kara describes the program as a blessing to the whole family. It gives Spencer a time to volunteer with kids his age on projects that are age appropriate. Spencer is evidence that any individual of any age can make an impact in their community. His favorite volunteer experience so far has been with the South Plains Food Bank. He has also spent time helping at the Ronald McDonald House, the Texas Boys Ranch, Hope Lodge, Family Promise and on-site at the Volunteer Center.

This year, Rick and Kara watched their son take that next step into giving “from the heart”. Spencer chose to accept donations for Hope Lodge in lieu of receiving gifts at his birthday party. The generosity of his friends enabled Spencer to make a wonderful donation to the Hope Lodge. His parents were so proud to see his love of giving grow in such a profound way. Kara says their family is continually heartened by the ability to spend quality time together while bettering the community. Volunteerism is infectious! Seeing and hearing about how volunteering makes Spencer feel inspires his parents. They all want to continue to engage in the community, and the Volunteer Center continues to be the avenue for families to get involved, to lead and to serve.

If you are interested in participating in From the Heart, our family volunteering program, head to Get Connected to check out our available opportunities!

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