Contributor

JULIA SUMMERS
Vice President of Development

The last 18 months have been hard for everyone. Despite the hardships, one thing the pandemic has given me is a renewed commitment to making a difference.    

Let me describe why.  

Professionally, I have been in a fundraising/development role for almost 14 years. Before that, I was always in customer service – from restaurant ownership to a 23-year career with Pier 1 Imports.  I love people. I love interacting with and getting to know them.  Sometimes, I wonder why we watch reality shows when people around us are so interesting right here and right now?  Everyone has a story. Everyone has a heart.   

The pandemic made clear that we need one another.   

I am relieved and excited to be able to engage with co-workers and donors, whether video or in person. Working in a development role, I don’t always get to provide direct services to the clients who benefit from our programs, but I do get to be of service to our supporters from board members, volunteers to donors. And thank goodness, I am now able to host and invite all of these supporters to socially distanced site visits!  

The work is inspiring.  

Showing off Camp Fire’s awesome youth programs is the next best thing to working directly with children.  Watching a donor’s face light up when children at Camp Fire Diamond Hill Station afterschool program say what their commitment is for the day – to be a leader, to have fun – and when asked how they will show it – they do a somersault or do a high five in the air or make a heart shape with their little hand like a 4-year-old did last week – is something not to miss. 

It is about community. 

I am looking forward to seeing so many Camp Fire “family” on November 19 at An Artists’ Christmas: An Evening with Emmitt Smith!  And while we will follow social distancing protocols, the energy and love will be flowing. It will be like a reunion.  To see smiling eyes and laugh and visit with all of you will fill my soul. And I know it will fill yours so please join me and we’ll all make a difference together!