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Friday Feature: Helen Beamer

"The biggest challenge is knowing that some families we approve will not get adopted. We carefully screen each applicant, hoping someone will be touched by their story. I wish we had enough resources and sponsors to adopt every family who qualifies. There is still one more shopping weekend left before Christmas, so I hope more sponsors will sign up to adopt a deserving family at aaf.voami.org."

Helen Beamer

Making connections
Helen's story

Your name: Helen Beamer

Your role at Volunteers of America Michigan: Adopt a Family Call Center Specialist

What brought you to this position? I saw a posting for the position online. I previously worked in a nonprofit’s holiday gift program, and that was one of the most rewarding professional experiences in my life. It is such a joy to match children and families in need with generous donors who make holiday wishes come true. I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the endeavor at VOAMI. I just started in October 2019 as a seasonal employee. It’s wonderful to work with such dedicated staff and caring volunteers to make this program such a successful outreach to low-income children and families, seniors and veterans.

What is your biggest takeaway from working with Volunteers of America Michigan? The lesson I am reminded of each day is to be grateful. I was downsized from my previous job last February due to a company reorganization, and sometimes I can feel a bit sorry for myself. However, as I review the stories and situations of many Adopt a Family applicants, I realize how blessed I am.

What is your biggest challenge in this position? The biggest challenge is knowing that some families we approve will not get adopted. We carefully screen each applicant, hoping someone will be touched by their story. I wish we had enough resources and sponsors to adopt every family who qualifies. There is still one more shopping weekend left before Christmas, so I hope more sponsors will sign up to adopt a deserving family at aaf.voami.org.

Where is your dream vacation spot? I like to spend time with family members who live out of state. When I get the chance, the most likely places I’ll travel to are wherever they currently live. For a more local excursion, I enjoy visiting Mackinac Island.

What is your favorite book? I rely on certain books for inspiration and guidance: the Bible, a good dictionary and, at times, a not-too-fussy cookbook. For a good read, I enjoy a well-written murder mystery. Once you’ve solved the case, it’s time to move onto another book.

How do you spend your time outside of the office? I am an active volunteer with various community organizations. However, what really fills my time and thoughts lately is my granddaughter, who was born in May. My husband and I can’t get enough of her smiles!

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