Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight: Caryn Pierce

Keeping a clean space for sick kids is one of the most important aspects of Family House, and volunteer Caryn Pierce knows better than most about germs.  A former microbiologist at UCB and mother of two, Caryn is easy to spot, wielding a can of Lysol the way an artist paints with a brush.  “Kids put their mouths on everything,” she says while wiping down banisters and everything at waist-height and below, “especially corners of walls.  My two kids loved to put their mouths on corners.”  Though Ali and Robbie are now in college, Caryn has obviously not forgotten what it was like when they were small.  Every Monday, she comes to our Irving Street location to disinfect all of the toys in the two playrooms - everything from matchbox cars to dolls to video games, and she’s been doing it since 2010.

Caryn’s hard work is not just inside Family House - she also plants and maintains the gardens at both locations, so the entrances are as welcoming as our homes can be.  Her passion for gardening is evident.  “Each house has a different microclimate, so the plantings are different.  Like an English garden, I mix annuals, perennials, native species, and just fun stuff.  I love the feedback from the families, neighbors, and visitors.”

When she comes to Family House, Caryn stops to say hello to everyone – staff, visitors, and especially families that are relaxing in the kitchens or living rooms.  While her regular routine includes disinfecting and gardening, she’ll pitch in with anything that is needed.  “I find lots of little jobs, nailing, gluing, vacuuming under the fridge, whatever it takes to help out to keep things moving smoothly.”

Of her experience volunteering with Family House, Caryn says, “I feel like the people who keep the vibe of safety, love, respect, and hugs are truly angels on earth.  Interacting with families while I work has been a joy, and I have learned so much about bravery and dignity.  It is an honor for me to work with the families. I am filled with compassion, gratitude, love, sharing, and friendship from my experience here. “

We are so grateful to volunteers like Caryn, that Family House regularly recognizes their central role by presenting Volunteer of the Month Awards, which Caryn could win every month.  Her regular visits mean that Family House will always be safe and comfortable for families.  “My favorite part of volunteering is the feeling I get when I come back with a new plant, or just have a chance to be a fellow mom and listen. My soul is rejuvenated.”

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1 comment:

  1. Lovely woman and so generous with her time. Thank you!


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