Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Wightman

Creature Feature: Gadwall
August 10, 2017
Wild Birds Unlimited Scholarship Success
September 20, 2017

After a trip to Africa in 2013, where Kathy knew she’d be blown away by animals in the wild, she became fascinated by birds as well, taking tons of pictures of them during her travels. Shortly after her trip, Kathy looked into the center – one of her favorite memories was when she walked into the building for the first time, being wowed by its beauty and openness. Upon inquiring about volunteer opportunities she was excited to find that there were opportunities that combined two things she loves dearly: education and kids. Kathy joined us in 2014 and has been a wonderful volunteer, working with our education programming and preschool story time ever since. Volunteering at the center is important to her because she believes exposing children to birds, conservation and advocacy in a natural setting is the best way for them to appreciate and learn about these things, hopefully becoming advocates themselves.

Prior to coming to volunteer with us, Kathy was a hospital and Red Cross social worker. After her children were in school she returned to the workforce as a school librarian and then as a children’s librarian in a public facility presenting story times to preschoolers. Currently, she organizes a student tutoring program for her neighborhood’s “adopted” school and tutors as well. Previously she volunteered for ten years with Habitat for Humanity on their family selection committee which meant she got to meet families in their homes and neighborhoods, assess if they were financially or otherwise eligible for the program, and if so, help them apply for the program to become homeowners. Through that experience, she learned a lot about all areas of the city and about our immigrant population.

Kathy is a very busy lady, but in her free time she enjoys spending time reading, walking, biking (25 mile Pelotonia), and travelling internationally which she and her husband have been pursuing avidly for about 10 years. At the center, she is wonderful with children and continues to be a huge help to our education programming throughout the school year – leading hikes, games and scavenger hunts as well as helping us prep materials for the day and clean up afterwards. You can also find Kathy most Thursday mornings delighting preschoolers during story time in the center library. Our preschool visitors love when Ms. Kathy shares great books with them. In short, Kathy is an indispensable asset to our volunteer team at the center, and a beloved member of the global community. Thank you for all you do Kathy!