We are so impressed by how many of our au pairs donate their time and talents to community service work. This week’s spotlight is on Camille Ferland. Camille is an au pair from Canada living with her host family in Illinois and a State Winner for the 2016 Au Pair Community Service Awards. She shared the following about her extensive volunteer work at many fundraisers and community events.
During this past year working as an Au Pair with Au Pair in America, I volunteered for many different causes and events. My first volunteer experience was with a community event, the Sheffield Music Festival and Garden Walk where I worked as a beverage server. Inspired by the positive feeling that comes from being involved, I explored online and signed up to help out a charity event, THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser, a fun event raising money to provide care packages for people undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. I sold tickets at the main entrance, helped to run the silent auction, and listened to inspiring stories of strength and bravery.
My primary volunteer focus has been with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and I volunteered for three events benefitting the charity. At two of the events, I helped out by selling raffle tickets, collecting donations, and thanking donors on behalf of the charity. I helped raise over $200,000 at the “Leukemia Cup Poker Run” in just one day, and $90,000 at the “Red Sky Night” event.
Leukemia and Lymphoma research is a very personal cause for me, because my mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer when I was in high school. Thankfully, she is in remission now, and I am grateful that I can volunteer to support research into finding a cure. I also volunteered for the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, an event that also benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I worked at the finish line handing out cold, wet towels to the participants finishing the Triathlon. It was so amazing to see participants’ faces at the very moment when accomplished such an incredible athletic feat, and it inspires me to improve as a runner and a swimmer.
I volunteered for Surge for Water, a clean water charity. I was able to represent the cause at an upscale charity event, interacting with guests and encouraging donations, helping to raise $40,000 for clean water projects across the world. I also volunteered for the Chicago Diabetes Project where I participated by running across downtown Chicago holding a large promotional banner as part of a guerrilla-marketing event to raise awareness and funds for the charity.
As part of my au pair weekend class curriculum, I volunteered at a homeless shelter at the Cornerstone Community Outreach, and sorted through clothing donations for those in need. It was a great way to make at least a little difference in the lives of people facing poverty and homelessness in Chicago.
There are so many different ways to get involved in the community and make a difference in the lives of people struggling with an illness or poverty, both locally and internationally. These experiences have taught me that Americans value volunteering and also giving to a good cause. My volunteer experience has been very meaningful and enjoyable, and has helped me realize a passion for the non-profit sector. I plan to continue to help others through volunteer work, wherever in the world I end up next.
Contact us to view profiles of au pairs like Camille and to learn how Au Pair in America can be a rewarding cultural experience and child care solution for your entire family.