In this donor spotlight, we highlight all of the wonderful and creative ways Nancy Hambacher (and her husband, John) support WithinReach. Read on to learn more about Nancy’s work as a Maternal-Child Health nurse, and how that motivates her work with us today. As we like to say at WithinReach, “Everyone needs a Nancy!”
How long have you been involved with WithinReach?
I’ve been a supporter of WithinReach for about five years. For the past three years, I’ve served on the Community Engagement Committee, which helps build a pool of committed ambassadors and supporters of WithinReach. In addition, I recently took on responsibilities as a Special Events Volunteer.
How is this a family affair?
My husband, John, was asked to be on the Board several years ago. He developed a passion for community advocacy and improving the lives of families in Washington State. As a person not in the healthcare or social services world, his eyes were opened as to what hardships people and families experience in their daily lives. He encouraged me to offer my services to WithinReach as I am a retired Maternal-Child Health nurse. He felt this organization and I would be a good fit.
What creative ways have you found to support WithinReach?
As the Special Events Volunteer, I am at the ready to assist with staff tasks such as fundraising events logistics and execution. I am very flexible. Whatever they ask me to do, I usually do it. My husband and I are willing to dress up in silly wigs and costumes to help raise money at Big Wigs & Swigs every year! We also make WithinReach a priority in our philanthropic giving each year.
Tell me your favorite story about volunteering for WithinReach.
There are actually two things I would like to mention …
A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to sit and listen to the calls coming in from the community. The call center staff are just so amazing! Their manner is so calm and confident. People calling for assistance are stressed out and nervous. The staff’s ability to pick up on nuances of the conversations and then provide help with over 6,000 resources in a short period of time is fantastic. I was also invited to shadow the outreach team in a couple of state offices and clinics. Watching and listening while people were helped with getting food stamps and so many other services in a dignified and respectful way really impressed me.
Secondly, I enjoy sharing passion and commitment for WithinReach with my husband. Seeing his understanding grow of the social, financial and medical needs of people has been wonderful. He now understands my world better. And he has encouraged me to learn, be more confident and take on new experiences. It has been a wonderful partnership.
Why does this work mean so much to you?
I have always been drawn to helping people in the communities in which I resided. Getting babies and kids off to a positive and proper start in life is vital.
My nursing and volunteer careers have spanned the Maternal-Child Health world. I ran a program years ago on the east coast at the same time that WithinReach started, and with the same focus. It was called Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies. It consisted of a paraprofessional home-visiting program in Trenton, NJ for pregnant and new mothers. I worked as staff and management in both inpatient and outpatient settings in inner-city hospitals and clinics, as well as community health clinics, and made home visits in Arizona and New Jersey, serving women and families in need. After I retired, I became a community volunteer, helping families through the PTA system as well as Assistance League of the Eastside. I was and continue to be involved in both the programs and resource development worlds. Developing and growing funding is so important. Programs do not exist and run without proper and sustainable funding.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
WithinReach has so many impactful programs, and the staff are some of the most caring people and protective of their clients. I mean that in a good way. They really want everyone they serve to be healthy. And are willing to figure out creative ways to make that happen. I always feel very welcome when I interact with staff at WithinReach. They make me smile!
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Thank you for your generosity!