Meet Two BSF Volunteers Who Are Empowering MilFams in Their Communities

September 13, 2019

Chances are you’ve heard us share all about the benefits of being a Blue Star Families volunteer.

But what about real stories from volunteers themselves? 

Well, if you’ve been eager to hear what it’s like being a part of the BSF family and making a difference in the lives of our military families, you’ve come to the right place. We’re shining the spotlight on two of many fabulous members who make up our powerhouse team.

Enjoy! 

Meet Shantel McCoy, Volunteer Chapter Lead of the BSF Tennessee Chapter

Tennessee Blue Star Families

Team Tennessee of Blue Star Families; Shantel is pictured far left.

What inspired you to join forces with Blue Star Families? And for how long have you been volunteering?

I joined BSF in May 2019. I learned about BSF from Karissa Poe, Tennessee Chapter Director, and I’m inspired by what BSF does for the community. As a veteran, I realize the importance of serving and helping others.

As a volunteer, what are some of the tasks that you get to do?

As a volunteer, I assist with setting up and helping prepare event areas for both military as well as civilian families.

What is most meaningful to you as a volunteer for BSF? Why?

The most meaningful thing to me as a volunteer is the gratitude and thanks we get back from our guests. I also enjoy networking with others.

What has been your favorite volunteering experience so far, and why?

My most favorite experience is giving away books to children. I love to see their little faces light up over something as simple as a book.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about joining our team of volunteers?

I would advise those thinking of being a BSF volunteer that it is very rewarding. You get the opportunity to meet and serve others and expect nothing in return. Just the goodness of your heart.

Meet Arika Ferguson, Community Engagement Manager of the BSF San Diego Chapter

Blue Star Families San Diego

Team San Diego of Blue Star Families; Arika is pictured far left.

What inspired you to join forces with Blue Star Families? And for how long have you been volunteering?

I have been following Blue Star Families’ social media accounts for a while and saw all the wonderful things they do for our military community. I love how they bridge the gap between civilian life and military. When I was looking at the website, I came across the volunteer section, and I immediately sent my information in hopes of being part of the team. Low and behold, it all worked out, and I have been a volunteer with BSF for about 8 months as the Community Engagement Manager.

As a volunteer, what are some of the tasks that you get to do?

As a BSF volunteer, I get to host fun events. I love hosting our Coffee Chats at our local Starbucks. We have put together a variety of events targeting our wonderful military spouses, and they have received rave reviews.

What has been your favorite volunteering experience so far, and why?

My favorite is all the friendships made and networking opportunities with military members, spouses, and local businesses. I have met so many wonderful people while hosting these events and being able to provide fun, free activities for our military families makes my heart happy.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about joining our team of volunteers?

If you want to give back to the military community and help bridge the gap between military families and the communities in which they serve, you should volunteer with BSF. I absolutely love my team, and the support from the organization is outstanding. I have been an avid volunteer for many years, and I always tell people this is a great experience to not only assist others, but it adds experience you can take back to your job or add to your resume. As spouses, we are constantly moving, and that can create gaps in our resumes. 

Volunteering is a great way to fill the gaps while gaining knowledge and experience, and in this case, learn new skills, information, and make new friends. Thank you, Blue Star Families for this wonderful opportunity.

Ready to join our powerhouse team?

Click here to complete the registration form near the bottom of the page. You’ll then begin to receive monthly communications about all of the exciting opportunities near you. Or, if you live in one of our chapter locations, a Chapter Director will reach out to you directly to discuss your interests. Military or civilian, we can’t wait to welcome you to our team of volunteers!

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