In the Platt family, instead of passing down heirlooms to their children, mothers impart the spirit of volunteerism. "My mom is an active volunteer and I live that kind of life, and I want my kids to live that kind of life," says Wendi Platt, a mother of three and an enterprising Salvation Army volunteer for more than five years.
One of Wendi's main volunteer activities is the Hope Fore Kids Golf Classic and Auction - an annual event which raises funds for arts, music, after-school and summer camp programs for underprivileged and at-risk children and youth served by The Salvation Army.
As a member of the Golf Planning Committee, she promotes the event with the creative flair and enthusiasm she uses in her line of work as a marketing consultant with Virgo III. Last year, Wendi had a "multiplier effect" by introducing five new volunteers to the committee; their collective efforts led to the event raising over $70,000 for The Salvation Army children's programs, a substantial increase from previous years.
And it doesn't stop there for Wendi. Each December she is joined by her daughters, Julie, Hope, and Sarah, as together they serve at a special holiday feast for the homeless.
Wendi also uses her resourcefulness to develop new partnerships for the Army, and to deepen its connections to the community. This year, she organized an eye-opening volunteer opportunity for Springside School students on the Martin Luther King holiday. Instead of heading to the mall, students spent the day performing community service projects; including playing games, making crafts and painting with the women and children who live at The Salvation Army Eliza Shirley House, an emergency shelter for homeless families.
Julie was one of the students who participated in the outreach. For Wendi, it is important not only to model an altruistic lifestyle for her children, but to also let them "see that there are people out there that need support or help."
The Salvation Army provides an opportunity for Wendi and her family to help transform the lives of other families and individuals in need. An active volunteer with several community organizations, Wendi chose The Salvation Army, because "it helps everyone, regardless of their background."