Ashleigh Ferro is the Volunteer Program Assistant at Family Village Issaquah (FVI). FVI is an award-winning, environmentally friendly community with permanent, affordable housing and services for families in East King County. Ashleigh helps to run community resident events such as Food Bank Friday, Mother’s Day Luncheon, children’s programming, and more. I spoke with Ashleigh about her volunteer work with YWCA and her passion for community service and empowering women.
What inspired you to work with YWCA?
My husband and I decided to jump in together in order to serve this wonderful community which is (literally) just steps away from our home. Additionally, I believe that it's so important for our emotional health as women to feel like we have a network of people around us who are there to support and encourage us through life's ups and downs. Becoming a mother has only magnified that for me. There have been so many moments where I've felt uplifted by people who have come in and taken a little bit of the weight off of my shoulders. In essence, that is what I want to do for the women and families of FVI.
In your own words, what does the Food Bank Friday program do?
The Food Bank Friday program is a bi-weekly program serving the FVI and surrounding community. It provides these individuals with supplemental groceries at no cost, which is helpful when trying to make ends meet.
Why is Food Bank Friday important to you?
I love to cook and bake! I am a culinary arts graduate and enjoy creating meals with whatever food is available to me. More than that, I think that the mission of this program is wonderful.
Why is it important to volunteer as an individual and as a family?
Volunteering is a great way to serve and build community with people that you may not have otherwise have had the chance to meet. It also provides families a wonderful opportunity to instill a servant heart in their kids. What better way to do that then to model it for them and, when possible, get them involved!
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
I've loved my experience so far. It's clear that the staff care so deeply about the residents of FVI in the care that I've seen them take in planning events. I recently helped prepare food for the Mother's Day event. Being a stay-at-home-mom means that a little co-pilot (my one and a half year old son) usually accompanies me. I was able to bring him along with me to my volunteer shift, which was so neat! My husband and I are expecting our second baby (boy) this October, so that flexibility will really come in handy. It’s so nice as a volunteer to feel like you have a team supporting you and working with your individual skills and limitations.
What is the best part about being a mother to you?
I love that being a mother allows me to teach my kids what I wish I had known. As a mother, I have an opportunity to instill loving values into my children in hopes that they will carry them into adulthood. Plus, they are pretty hilarious and bring so much joy to a home!
"I am both honored and excited to build relationships with women, families, and staff of the FVI community." – Ashleigh Ferro
I want to thank Ashleigh for the time she makes to get involved with YWCA. We love Ashleigh’s family for all their help and appreciate them for inspiring others to serve. Find out how you can make a difference in your community through YWCA volunteer opportunities.
Kendyl Hardy is the Volunteer Services Coordinator at YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. As an avid volunteer herself, Kendyl finds volunteering is a way to grow personally and as a community. Kendyl graduated with a degree in Public Relations with a concentration in nonprofit management. Throughout her college career, she worked to highlight the importance of civic service to sustain society and feature dialogue about issues affecting our communities.
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