April Maple is an aspiring social worker and student at Sacramento State. She was drawn to the mission at Lilliput Families and has been eager to jump in and help in any way she can. This year we're honoring April as our Lilliput Families Volunteer of the Year! Below is a quick Q & A with April to discuss her volunteer experience at Lilliput.
How did you first get involved with Lilliput Families?
I was looking for agencies to volunteer with a few years ago and while I was doing my research I kept coming back to Lilliput Families. I liked the organization and got the sense that people who worked there were very selfless in the work that they do. They do so much to help families and kids. I felt that's where I needed to be helping, so I submitted my resume to volunteer. I’ve been volunteering at Lilliput for about a year and a half, and I've even been able to bring my husband and daughter in to help on some things as well. It’s been really nice for our whole family to give back and help out.
When volunteering your time at Lilliput Families, how does it make you feel?
It makes me feel like I put in a hard day’s work and I enjoy that feeling of accomplishment when we complete something. I try to remain humble about it, but it feels great to be able to help the agency accomplish something that they don’t have to and to truly help make a difference. I love that everyone is always so thankful, and I always say it’s not a big deal, I’m just helping out, but I can tell they really appreciate it.
Why did you choose to support Lilliput Families over the other non-profits and causes in your local community?
I read a lot of the parent reviews online about how much Lilliput helps and how they are always there for their families through the ups and downs. I just thought, wow this a really great group, they’re walking through these really difficult times with people, so they must really care. I feel that the team at Lilliput thinks just like I do. It’s nice to help out somewhere with like minded people who believe in the same mission!
What draws you to our mission, that Lilliput exists to ensure every child has the opportunity to be part of a safe, nurturing, lifelong family?
Part of it is personal, I come from a shattered home life myself. There are so many people and systems failing these children in foster care. There are thousands of kids in foster care and they deserve the opportunity to have a good life. That’s what Lilliput is fighting for and I want to be a part of.
When your friends, family, and co-workers found out you were volunteering and supporting Lilliput Families, what did they say or ask?
My husband and daughter are always so glad that I do this and are very supportive. My daughter got inspired to help out and volunteer with me. It’s become a family thing and it feels very nice to have that kind of support.
What have you been the proudest of?
The most recent activity I volunteered with, was making masks for Lilliput staff and families. The team reached out to me and asked if I could help sew masks. I immediately jumped on it and started recruiting local sewing groups, family and friends. My husband and I went out and bought a bunch of fabric. We were able to deliver more than 100 masks to Lilliput in a very short time frame! I feel so proud knowing that we pulled all of that together and were able to send so many masks out to Lilliput staff and families. Another proud moment I have, was when my daughter came and volunteered with me at one of the events. Seeing her out there getting involved with me and seeing that look in her eye and realizing that this is what life is all about, giving back. As a parent that brought me joy.
On a lighter note, what do you like to do in your free time?
I like to take my dog down to the river and I love painting rocks. Anything outdoors!
What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved with Lilliput Families?
I would tell them they should do it as soon as possible. There’s a big need and there are so many things they could do to help out.
Anything else you might like to add?
I’m just so happy that they’ve let me get involved and help out. I’ve made some great friends and I really enjoy being with the people at Lilliput.
During the COVID-19 public health crisis, our services have continued uninterrupted. Our children and families need us, and we need YOU, now more than ever. Your donations will help assure that our children and families are safe and supported during this most critical time.