LAKE CHAPALA REVIEW
LOVE IN ACTION CHILDREN'S CENTER
CENTRO AMOR EN ACCIÓN
MARCH 2012

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR: KARI ROMEY

[Kari Romey and family]

Kari Romey and her husband decided last year to sell their successful coffee shops and move to Mexico to serve at orphanages. Before leaving, they met Anabel Frutos who told her about her work with children in Chapala. They then decided to come to Lakeside to help at the Love in Action Children’s Center.

With few paid staff, volunteers are an essential part of the daily child care. Kari was delighted to meet so many amazing people with wonderful hearts who wanted to help children. Soon after she arrived, she became Coordinator of Volunteers. What does she enjoy most? “First, being able to see how the incredible children touch the hearts of the volunteers, and secondly, connecting volunteers with children who need to know that someone cares for them.” And what has been the most difficult task? “Trying to coordinate the schedules of 45 children with the availability and gifts of 60 volunteers.

Kari has plans to improve the recruiting and retaining volunteers at the Center. “Building a "community" within our volunteers has been a focus.”  She soon learned volunteers felt a lack of ‘belonging.’  ”I think now we have made great strides in building a volunteer community at LIA.  Communication is key. The Google Groups computer forum has been a wonderful tool in bringing volunteers together as needs arise. 

“Also, Summer Phillips, the new Director of Operations, and I are at the Center regularly and volunteers feel they have someone to contact directly.  Summer is working on a training program to give volunteers the necessary tools to have a positive experience working with children who have suffered trauma in their lives.”

If you want to learn more or volunteer at Love in Action, contact Kari at volunteers@loveinactioncenter.org.

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