When Amy Evans, development director for North Idaho Youth Ranch, asked Christina Hatfield to help plan and execute the Idaho Youth Ranch inaugural Wine, Women and Shoes Event Fundraiser, she knew she had a power player on board. The event held last summer raised more than $100,000 for the Idaho Youth Ranch in North Idaho.
"I have been a volunteer for many years for several organizations," shares Hatfield. "But this was my first year volunteering for the Idaho Youth Ranch. When Amy asked me to be a part of the event, I just couldn't turn it down, and I am excited to continue my role as a co-chair again this summer."
"Christina's leadership and vision was a crucial element of the huge success of the Idaho Youth Ranch Wine, Women and Shoes inaugural event," said Evans. "Christina is a dedicated advocate to the children in Kootenai County."
Hatfield said that her hours and time volunteering vary throughout the year. There wasn't any one moment that made her decide to be a volunteer, but attributes her success at being one to the example her parents, John and Sally Robideaux, set when she was young.
"My parents have, and were always involved in many community organizations while I was growing up," said Hatfield. "I guess you could say I learned about the importance volunteering and being a part of our community through them."
There are definitely times when Hatfield feels volunteering often consumes her entire week. However, she feels fortunate that she has a job that allows her flexibility to dedicate the time it takes to serve in the many volunteer opportunities in our community.
"Recently," Hatfield said, "I had the opportunity to tour the Anchor House, which is one of the many programs offered by the Idaho Youth Ranch. I was able personally meet all the boys staying at the house and learned more about the programs and services that are provided to the boys throughout their stay. One of the boys, who left the house in December, shared his journey of how he ended up at the Anchor House, and what he had learned while staying there. He is now 18 and leaves the house a new man and a changed person because of the Anchor House program. I could see his motivation and know he is determined to make a better life for himself."
Hatfield said that it is life-changing stories like these that are just one of the many reasons why she loves to volunteer. Impacting lives through volunteerism can and will change your own life for the better.
When asked to share a favorite moment in her volunteerism, she said "One memory that stands out for me was at the Wine, Women and Shoes event this past summer. One of our keynote speakers was sharing a very personal story with the audience about her experience with the Idaho Youth Ranch. As I looked around the room, I could see how her story was impacting the lives of the women at the event. Shortly after her story, the paddle raise portion of the event took place. I was sitting near the stage and had my back to most of the audience. When I turned around to see how many women were raising their paddle to pledge money in support of the Idaho Youth Ranch, all I could see was a sea of white bidder cards raised as high as they could go. I immediately wept, as I was overwhelmed with emotion of the generosity of the women in our community. I still get tears in my eyes every time I think about that moment."
Hatfield also serves on the EXCEL Foundation Board of Directors and is extremely involved in the planning of their Big Event auction, recently held in November and raised over $125,000 for the Foundation.
Christina Hatfield grew up in Hayden Lake and attended first-12th grade in the Coeur d'Alene School District. She attended the University of Idaho and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations. She spent her early career working for the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, first as their Communications Director, and years later as the Vice President of the Tourism Division. Currently she works at Robideaux Motors part-time and has one daughter, Ellie, who is in the sixth grade at Canfield Middle School, where she also attended.
Volunteer Opportunity: Community Impact Council Member
Local United Way's across the nation are charting a course for change: Advancing education, income and health using community impact strategies. United Way of Kootenai County has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical convener that mobilizes local partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials and community residents, to improve the lives of people in our community. Focusing on three key building blocks to a good life: A quality education that leads to a stable job, crisis intervention of basic needs like food and shelter, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.
We are looking for a few individuals with interest and experience in the areas of education, income/basic needs and health. Impact council members will identify community needs, analyze best practices, research and prioritize investments from the United Way Community Care fund through a rigorous competitive grant process. The right volunteer must have a passion and commitment for the community. The commitment would vary between 2-8 hours per month.
For further information about becoming a Community Impact Council Member and/or schedule an interview, call the United Way of Kootenai County office at (208) 667-8112, Ext. 101.
Please visit www.kootenaiunitedway.org, click on the "VOLUNTEER" link to view other volunteer opportunities in YOUR community, or contact Jeanette Laster at United Way of Kootenai County, (208) 667-8112, Ext. 101.
The United Way of Kootenai County Volunteer Center
* "One-Stop Volunteer Resource Center" for the whole community
* Ongoing and one-time volunteer opportunities
* TAKE ACTION
Visit the United Way's Volunteer Center website: www.kootenaiunitedway.org
GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER