When the Starbucks Service Fellowship Program began late last summer, we knew we were part of an exciting pilot program. The new initiative offered through Volunteer Fairfax’s partnership with Points of Light and the Starbucks Foundation, ignited great excitement. The wonderful fellows we worked with (who are Starbucks baristas) exceeded our hopes. Through the capacity building support of the two fellows engaged in our organization, our impact in the community hit marks we didn’t expect!
It’s difficult to dress up nonprofit program support and make it sound impactful, but that’s exactly what it is. Katey Dunn and Salma Kerfal rolled up their sleeves and powered through unusual and unknown territory to expand Volunteer Fairfax’s reach into the community of Fairfax County.
Salma Kerfal focused on expanding our youth program and developed new opportunities to engage youth in serving the needs of Fairfax County. The teens sorted and organized donations for a homeless shelter, met the needs of the hungry and learned how to find ways to serve in areas they care most about. She even engaged youth volunteers to staff a pop up food bank to provide assistance for federal employees and government contractors during the recent 35 day partial government shutdown.
Salma’s inspirational spirit resulted in approximately 60 area youth becoming more engaged in serving their community, a listing of dozens of volunteer opportunities available to area kids, an updated directory of ongoing youth opportunities connected to every middle and high school in Fairfax County (close to 100), and a personal desire to explore nonprofit career opportunities.
Katey Dunn worked to increase volunteer opportunities available in our popular Volunteers for Change program. We soon learned that she possesses critically needed research and data analysis skills. Because of her efforts, we have isolated volunteer trends in VFC, enabling us to focus our volunteer opportunities according to location and interest of our volunteers.
Katey also expanded the volunteer opportunities we offer in our VFC calendar of projects. She built many new relationships with area nonprofits, as well as deepened current relationships. Katey sought out new military and veteran specific projects to increase our support of the large military community in Fairfax County, whom we greatly desire to further serve.
As a result of such a great experience with this beta test initiative, we know how the Starbucks Service Fellows Program has greatly impacted our organization and the Fairfax community. We are working with Points of Light and the Starbucks Foundation as we look towards the next class of fellows with great anticipation! These fellows are full of dynamic ideas and a rich desire to serve our community!