National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. Each year, Points of Light shines a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference in their communities. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. Today, as people strive to lead lives that reflect their values, the expression of civic life has evolved. Whether online, at the office, or the local food bank; whether with a vote, a voice, or a wallet – doing good comes in many forms, and we recognize and celebrate them all. (https://www.pointsoflight.org/nvw/) Turtle Wing Foundation has been blessed from its inception with a board that stays mission focused and considers the heart of the foundation and the needs of the family it serves. Non-profit boards are the hidden volunteers behind the good that philanthropy injects into communities big and small. This fiscal year three new board members were added to the Turtle Wing board, diversifying the talent pool as well as deepening the connection to the communities served by the foundation. Shannon McBride was born and raised in Schulenburg and is the Administrator for Schulenburg Regency Nursing Center. Shannon’s wife, Kristi, was Jack Hooper’s 4th grade teacher when he was called to heaven on April 5, 2011. Their family has supported the foundation from its inception. As shared by Mr. McBride on his #GivingTuesday Fundraiser page, “I am part of Turtle Wing because I have witnessed the passion and love shown for a boy with an incredible spirit and the heart of a lion...a boy whose courage outshined his fear...and a boy whose bravery outweighed his adversity. A boy named Jack and his legacy, that is Turtle Wing.” Mr. McBride will work to form and initiate Turtle Wing’s first Community Advisory Board. From Colorado County, Becca Edmiston is bringing her personal experience as a mom of children with learning differences to the board. The Edmiston family lives outside of Columbus in Mentz. Mrs. Edmiston will serve on the programming committee and is working to help expand outreach and increase services to families in Colorado County. Her hope is to provide all children access to resources which allow them to be taught the way they learn best. The final new board member added was Kyle Janda. Kyle was born and raised in La Grange and is a 6th generation Fayette County resident. Mr. Janda is V.P./Compliance Officer for Fayette Savings Bank and has accepted the role as treasurer of the foundation, providing oversight and professionalism as the foundation reaches new levels of support in the community. Turtle Wing’s growth goals require a development plan that is sustainable, achievable and smart while remaining family centered as they add new providers, expanded giving, and growing plans for the young adult community served. All three new board members have extensive board experience and are very involved in their churches and community organizations. Additionally serving on the board is DeeAnn Hooper (founder and president), Stacy Oeding (chaplain/parliamentarian), Gigi Marburger (special projects committee), Kari Tumis (VP-volunteers), Darla Kubala (VP-fundraising), Kim Wellborn (secretary). In 2019, Turtle Wing helped serve over 325 local children and continues to touch families who struggle with not only Autism, but all learning challenges every day. The recipients have all been from Colorado, Fayette, Lavaca, and surrounding counties with academic, social-emotional, behavioral and/or developmental needs. To learn more about Turtle Wing Foundation, become a volunteer or to make a donation visit www.turtlewingfoundation.org, follow them on Facebook @turtlewingfoundation or contact Susie Shank at 979-505-5090.
(l-r) Stacy Oeding, Kim Wellborn, Kari Tumis, Kyle Janda, DeeAnn Hooper, Becca Edmiston, Gigi Marburger, Darla Kubala, Shannon McBride
(l-r) Shannon McBride, Kyle Janda, Becca Edmiston