April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and Waypoint is excited to recognize some of the amazing volunteers who support our mission of inspiring people to move forward! Check out the spotlights below to learn more about the work they do for our clients and our community.
Crystal first learned about Waypoint through United Way’s annual campaign at her work, and became familiar with Waypoint’s services over the last three years she has been working downtown. Because of this, Waypoint has been more prevalent in her daily life, and she has been able to see the work Waypoint does changes. “Waypoint is a place where everyone is welcome, and every employee is willing to help people from many different backgrounds,” which is one of the main reasons Crystal has chosen to support Waypoint. She served on the planning committee for the first ever Waypoint Party in 2019 and stops by the office from time to time to drop off donations.
Crystal’s favorite Waypoint memory was watching the Fun Pianos of Iowa perform at The Waypoint Party. “The night was so much fun, from the entertainment to the speakers, the pianos and the delicious food, and the great items that were included in the silent auction—it seemed like everyone had a really great time.” She was so excited that the event was able to meet its fundraising goals.
Crystal is a mom to Reid (2 years-old) and Bella (4 years-old) and a wife to Nick, her wonderful husband. She recently started working at RSM as a National Private Equity Coordinator. She loves the Iowa Hawkeyes and trying new things with her kiddos. Her heart is always driving her to help those less fortunate, and being able to be a part of the great work nonprofits do in the community truly makes her happy.
Miron Construction became involved with Waypoint four years ago. They had been looking online for volunteer opportunities in the community and came across Waypoint’s website. They were particularly drawn to Waypoint because of the support for victims of domestic violence as well as individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The first time Miron volunteered at Waypoint, they helped decorate the building for Waypoint Wonderland. “Everyone at Waypoint was so grateful,” said Stephanie, Reception Professional at Miron. “After hearing more about Waypoint’s programs and the work they do for the community, we couldn’t wait to rally the team.” Every year, employees participate in Day of Caring and Waypoint Wonderland. “Our employees enjoy volunteering with Waypoint because they are helping to make the lives of those served by Waypoint a little brighter.”
Miron favorite Waypoint memory is the first time they assisted with wrapping gifts for Waypoint Wonderland. They had no idea what to expect, but were blown away when they saw all the gifts that had been donated for the kids and families. “As we were wrapping gifts, the parents thanked us again and again and shared how much they appreciated our help and how they hope to one day have the opportunity to give back themselves.”
Waypoint holds a special place in Stephanie’s heart. “I am a single mom of a teenage daughter. I know first-hand how hard it can be to navigate tough financial situations. I can't even imagine dealing with that on top of domestic violence issues.” Stephanie is grateful to have connected to Waypoint because she has become more knowledgeable about our services, even making referrals from time to time. “I had a friend who was in a situation and needing support. As a new mother without a job, she had no idea where to go for help or what to do. When I found out about Waypoint, I shared the information with her and took her there to see if they could help. Waypoint was so gracious and helped her get things back on track. With their help, she got a job and was able to get her own place to provide a healthy environment for her child. This is why I wanted to help and why I wanted to get the Miron team involved in volunteering. It feels great that Miron Construction can help them in making a difference.”
In addition to volunteering with Waypoint Wonderland and Day of Caring, Miron recently hosted a diaper drive and collected travel sized toiletries for clients. They are also long-term supporters through financial donations, and will soon be doing the construction work for Waypoint’s $3.2 million Capital Campaign construction project.
Livia Throckmorton is a student at Kirkwood Community College studying Graphic Communication Technology, Social Media Marketing, and Web Programming. She began interning at Waypoint with the Resource Development & Marketing team in August of 2019. Livia learned about Waypoint’s internship opportunities through Kirkwood’s federal work study program, which allows students to work off-campus supporting nonprofit organizations. “I chose to work with Waypoint for their flexibility and the balance between independent work and work with employees and clients that the internship opportunity offered. The work I am doing is also preparing me for a career as a graphic designer, which is allowing me to take huge steps toward my future and my goals.”
Throughout her internship, Livia has supported staff with planning
the Gentleman Campaign©, Waypoint Wonderland, Tribute to Women of Achievement, and The Waypoint Party. She has been a huge support with setting up for events, creating social media content and marketing materials, and support staff with various
administrative needs. Livia’s favorite memories are The Waypoint Party and Waypoint Wonderland. “Waypoint is giving me an experience that is difficult to get at school. I am glad that Kirkwood provided me the opportunity to prepare for my career and to meet all of the great people who work here at Waypoint. The work I have been doing is a daily reminder that we all have a purpose, and I am glad mine includes supporting Waypoint.”
In her free time, Livia likes to play with her dogs, hang out with her siblings, and do crafts.
Jodi first got involved with Waypoint as a staff advocate with Waypoint’s Domestic Violence Victim Services Program. She was drawn to the program because of her passion for working with people and her believe in supporting other women. “I've always been an advocate for women, and this was a way to give back to women, and most importantly women like myself. When my former abusive partner left me, I had no idea that agencies like Waypoint existed, and I wanted to be sure that other women knew there was help for those who wanted it.”
After working at Waypoint for several years as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, she decided to continue supporting the program as a volunteer when she moved on to another job opportunity in a different field. She wanted to continue giving back to the community and supporting the causes she was passionate about.
Jodi’s favorite Waypoint memory is the first time she shadowed a support group in the Linn County jail. “I was terrified. I'd never even been to a jail on the outside, let alone inside one. But the women there were nothing like I had ever imagined, and definitely nothing like on TV. I honestly think they impacted me as much as I impacted them. Facilitating their discussions and providing information about domestic violence only made me more passionate to support women, especially those involved in the criminal justice system. Eight years later, I'm still volunteering because Waypoint is such a huge part of who I am.” Through her volunteer role, Jodi continues to be an advocate for Waypoint clients and women in the community.
Jodi is a native Iowan. Her favorite color is pink, and she loves the beach. In her free time, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, playing the ukulele, and singing karaoke. Jodi also paints and collects various craft supplies without actually finishing projects. She enjoys spending time with her family, nieces, and friends.
Katie first got involved with Waypoint when she was 14 and volunteered with her family for the Waypoint Wonderland. She has continued to volunteer yearly at this event for the last 12 years. She has filled nearly every position during this event over the years, putting up decorations, wrapping gifts, supporting clients through the gift selection process, and even cleaning up after the event—it is definitely her most memorable volunteer work. While continuing to volunteer for Waypoint, Katie got her nursing degree at Coe College and started working at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as an inpatient nurse. She has worked with oncology patients for the past four years, which has become her passion.
After settling into her new job, Katie felt that she wanted more purpose in her life outside of being a nurse. Katie reached out to Waypoint and decided that volunteering with child care would be a great fit. Katie began volunteering weekly at KidsPoint C Street last year, primarily with kids three years-old and younger. “It has been such a positive outlet for me when I’m not working to spend some time with happy, healthy babies and toddlers. I really enjoy getting to spend just a few hours each week with the Waypoint community.”