Members in action!
Having had parents who were members before her, Cherie was born into the Foresters family. In addition to Foresters members she has known most of her life and now considers aunts and uncles, there’s even a family that gives Cherie and her kin – including Chloe, 13 and Brennen, 11 – use of their cabin a several times a year.
Foresters bonds run deep, and that connection is still strong in Cherie’s own family. A year before they were married in 1992, Cherie and her husband became members. They soon began volunteering with Foresters and in 2012, Cherie was elected to the B.C. Branch Council. Though she works full time as a warehouse receiver for the Salvation Army Thrift Store and has a part-time job at Winners, Cherie has still found time to organize five Foresters fun family events and 12 local volunteer activities. In the summer of 2013 Cherie and her family also participated in a playground build.
As Cherie says, “Foresters is part of my life.” And as for those members you meet at Foresters events? Well, according to her, “Friends turn into family.”
John wasn’t sure what to expect when he went to his first Foresters volunteer activity in the summer of 2014. He was even a bit nervous.
The 68-year-old grandfather of five knew he was a capable guy. He was finishing a career as a software engineer for jet engines and felt like he’d been blessed throughout his life. So when he got that familiar Foresters email highlighting the member benefits available to him, including volunteer opportunities, he knew it was his chance to give back. He signed up to put together backpacks with school supplies for children in need at Crayons to Computers, in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Still, he wondered if he’d do a good job. Would they ask him to lift something he couldn’t?
His concerns disappeared once he arrived onsite. “It wasn’t hard work. It was just a lot of fun,” says John, retired since last fall and a Foresters member since 2008. “It made me feel part of a new community. It was wonderful, it really was.”
Since then, he has taken his wife and grandkids to other events, including building an outdoor classroom, serving meals at Ronald McDonald House®, and even a fun Foresters outing to Coney Island. Less than a year after that first volunteer experience, the guy who would have never seen himself as an organizer was learning from a local Foresters employee how to order toothpaste and other hygiene supplies for his own event, and assembling care kits for homeless veterans. John received a Foresters Community Grant to do it.
“There are a million insurance companies out there but Foresters is very special because they do so much for the community,” he says.
If you would like to follow Cherie and John’s lead and become more involved with community events and volunteerism through Foresters Community Grants, visit MyForesters.com. The site is full of helpful resources, including checklists and activity planning guides.
Ronald McDonald House is a registered trademark of McDonald’s Corporation or its affiliates and is used with permission.
413718D CAN/US (05/16)