Jackie Forbes has been a volunteer with Child Crisis Arizona since 2010. She started as a volunteer helping with the annual fundraising gala but was curious to learn more about the programs she was raising funds for. Jackie began volunteering in the shelter and eventually became a volunteer in the Early Education Program. Jackie has graciously donated 1,346 hours of her time to Child Crisis Arizona over the years. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:

Why did you choose to volunteer in early education?
I wanted to see what 1 and 2 year-olds ‘learn’ in this setting and I found out it’s quite a lot! Meal times mean learning how to wash hands, how to sit at the table, how to serve food onto your plate, how to use a spoon, how to get along with your table-mates, and how to clear away your dishes and then wash your hands again before going off to play again! Lots of other learning examples throughout the day.

What is the best part about volunteering?
The children are terrific. While they may be sad to see their parent leave them at the start of the day they are soon all smiles and into eating or playing on their own or with their friends. I am also impressed with the staff who do an amazing job making each child feel special and loved every day. They have a knack for making every situation a learning opportunity and doing it in a positive manner.

What do you want people to know about CCA?
I think the CCA tag line, Safe Kids and Strong Families, speaks to the breath of services that the community can look to CCA for. Helping families in crisis is more than providing a safe place for the children. The support for the family to get them back on their feet and back together makes all the difference for long term success but the broader impact seems to come from the other services: early education, counseling, classes and workshops. It’s wonderful that the parents, especially those whose children are in EHS and preschool programs, can also participate in workshops and classes that complement what their children are learning.

Over the ten years that I’ve volunteered with CCA I’ve been astonished by the tremendous need for help and support for families and very thankful and appreciative of the staff who work hard every day to make life a little better and brighter for those who look to CCA for help.