Meet Volunteer of the Month Christine Innes

Our work requires a big community. In addition to volunteer tutors, we need deck-swabbers, fish-bowl-cleaners, and gnome-home-painters. Another important type of volunteer? Designers!

Designers help amplify and beautify our students voices in publications, collateral, and in our spaces. Our Volunteer of the Month, Christine Innes, has been a vital part of our work at 826 Valencia as a design volunteer. Read on to see what one very talented artist thinks about working with the thousands of very talented artists at 826. 

What is one of your favorite memories from volunteering at 826 Valencia? 

Caroline invited me to make a window installation for the Tenderloin Center, and it was such a fun project. It was something that I had always wanted to do, but maybe wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do without the support of the 826 community. I was able to show that installation in a gallery show, and I just got a commission to do another window installation in a similar style. 

What led you to become part of our volunteer community?

I was a design intern at 826, and it was one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had! When the internship was over, I didn’t want to stop drawing illustrations of students’ stories.

Pirates, pufferfish, or woodland creatures? Pick one! 

I love King Carl’s story. It’s so weird and uniquely 826. To band around a mascot who is… absent? Out exploring? So strange! I’ve also drawn a lot of versions of pufferfish for different 826 designs, so I have to go with him!

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

I like drinking coffee in my backyard and biking around San Francisco. Right now I’m camping in the eastern Sierras, so today you would find me here!

What advice would you give a new 826 volunteer?

Get to know your fellow volunteers and 826 staff! In my experience, they’re some of the most supportive and interesting people, so you can really learn a lot from them. Also, you should go see the annual Storytellers’ Showcase. When you hear students read their writing that you contributed to in a small way, it feels pretty great. 

Thank you, Christine, for your inspired dedication to our students (not to mention your dedication to completing this interview while camping!) We couldn’t serve our students without our strong community of volunteers like Christine.  Join the crew!

Want more inspiring stories? Read about our previous Volunteers of the Month.