An Incredible Gift

Written By Amy E. Silver.

Amy-Silver-256x359I moved to Thousand Oaks about 8 years ago. Being retired, I wanted to give back to my community. I love working with children and also wanted to help, in my small way, to solve our nation’s homeless problem. I joined the Homework Club as a volunteer 5 years ago. We help tutor school age children with their assignments; read with them; play games; do crafts; and get to know them. I have been blessed to watch many of these talented kids graduate from High School and move on to college!

But it is more than that, I have seen the kids develop into hardworking, giving, and successful young adults. For example, Many Mansions’ Summer Camp provides an opportunity for our teens to develop their leadership skills as camp counselors. But this special group of kids give back to our community in other ways too–through volunteerism. In fact, one of our young friends worked as a volunteer at Westminster Free Clinic here in Thousand Oaks as a Teen Healthcare Intern! And, after High School graduation, several of our young adults have also gained employment with Many Mansions while they complete their college degrees. What a testimonial to the Many Mansion organization, that you value and care for our kids through all stages of their life!

It is not just the kids or the volunteers. It is also the staff of Many Mansions. I have worked with college students or recent grads that organize and run the Homework Club and Summer Camp. They are truly an amazing group of people. I have had the pleasure of watching them graduate from college; earn their Masters degrees; and/or move up within the Many Mansion organization. The staff have the opportunity to expand their teaching and leadership skills, and we are truly lucky to have each and every one of them!

Many Mansions has expanded immensely over the past five years, thanks to the President, Rick Schroeder, and his talented staff. I have had the pleasure of getting to know the fundraising staff, grant writers, social service counselors (including Happy the dog), and the volunteer coordinator. What an exceptional group of caring and committed individuals, who work daily to enhance and improve the lives of the residents.

The Board of Directors are also extraordinary people. They dedicate their time and talent to support Many Mansions’ goals. They need to be appreciated for all of their hard work. I have enjoyed meeting several board members at fundraisers, during service projects, and as fellow Homework Club volunteers.

I am so lucky to have volunteered with Many Mansions. Over the course of the past 5 years, I have seen many positive changes and exceptional projects completed. They have renovated existing complexes by installing solar panels, new windows, beautiful gardens, playgrounds, updated community rooms (including adding quality computers and printers for the kids to use), and so much more. Their new complexes are stunning and all of their housing is beautifully maintained.

Being a Many Mansion volunteer has enriched my life. I am so proud of what this organization stands for and the incredible gift it provides to our community and beyond.