Drumroll, please, for our first Volunteer of the Month in 2019: Meet Brittany Carrico!

We’re lucky to rely on so many amazing volunteers every day, who show up at our centers rain or shine ready to help our students. Among those great folks is our January Volunteer of the Month Brittany Carrico, who not only tutors frequently at the Storytelling and Bookmaking Field Trips but also represents our volunteer community as an ambassador! Keep reading to learn why students (and staff!) love her so much.

Drumroll, please, for our first Volunteer of the Month in 2019: Meet Brittany Carrico!What is one of your favorite moments (memories, experiences or anecdotes!) from volunteering with 826 Valencia?

At the Storytelling and Bookmaking Field Trips, I hear a lot of super creative ideas from our students. One of my favorite characters students came up with was Bob the Banana. They were a banana that wore high heels and a blonde wig, and were also great at building things. “A wig that looks basically like your hair, Brittany,” one student added enthusiastically. Bob’s greatest wish was to find the magical diamond so that they could find more wigs and be even more fabulous while building things. To me, this demonstrated an attitude of inclusivity from our students. It also made me chuckle to think of a banana wearing a wig.

What led you to become part of our volunteer community?

I love working with kids and I’ve found that I have a knack for getting students involved in whatever task is at hand. And at 826, I can share this skill with an incredible community. The projects at 826 are so dynamic and interesting, and the people are wonderful to work with. The students are so warm and appreciative. I’m always happy when I show up for a volunteer shift and leave with my heart feeling full.

Pirates, pufferfish, or woodland creatures? Why?

I would have to choose pirates. There’s something so alluring about their lifestyle. Although it might come with shark-infested waters, Davy Jones and his locker, and the possibility of scurvy, there’s also that swashbuckling banter, the thrill of the hunt for treasure, the rolling open seas, and of course the eyepatch. Who doesn’t look cool in an eyepatch?

What would we find you doing when not volunteering at 826?

When I’m not volunteering at 826, I’m doing one of these three things: Scuba diving, cuddling with my adorable cat Zelda, or trying to complete an elaborate project I thought was a good idea but it turns out I don’t exactly have the level of skill needed, but I’m going to finish it anyway.

What is a piece of advice you would give a new 826 volunteer?

Don’t be discouraged! We all have a day where we don’t quite click with the student or program we’re volunteering in. Ask for help! Try a different program! I guarantee that you can find something that makes you smile at 826.

We’re so grateful for volunteers like Brittany. And with the opening of our third center in March, we will need even more folks to join our 826 family. Get involved!

Read more about our previous Volunteer of the Months.