Our Village of Volunteers: Featuring Allison Gaskins

by Caitlynn Lopez

How did you get involved with Foster Village? What drew you to get involved?

I first found Foster Village through a community Facebook page for volunteers. I was looking for a place that involved children. Having taught preschool and kindergarten for many years, I wanted to continue to do something related to children even after retirement. While I have never fostered a child, I have a close member of my family who adopted through the foster care system. I also had the opportunity to work closely with one of my students who lived with a foster family and saw what a huge impact they made in her life.

What does volunteering look like for you?

I currently work each Tuesday in the North Austin Resource Center. Volunteers do tasks such as organizing, preparing welcome packs for new families, opening and putting away many Amazon orders and donations, taking inventory, and helping families choose items that they need when they come to the center. I am constantly amazed at the kindness and generosity of the families that are served by Foster Village. It is wonderful to know that these families are not only supported by providing their children’s physical needs, but they also have opportunities for caregiver activities, children’s events, emotional support, and more.

What do you love about being part of this village of volunteers?

One of the things that is unique about volunteering at Foster Village is the number of choices you have for service. There are opportunities for a few hours at a time, or bigger commitments if you choose. Every age has an opportunity for service in so many ways, from a child hosting a lemonade stand, church and school youth groups, families buying Christmas gifts, adult groups or individuals. Each one is important and makes a difference in the life of a child. I would highly recommend volunteering at this wonderful organization. You will not only be a small part of helping families but you will be blessed by the families and children that you get to meet. I enjoy my time there and look forward to it every week. I would encourage you to stop by for a visit and see for yourself how you can participate.