November 1, 2014

Regional Volunteer Coordinator, Lemoore

Today we are happy to recognize Jill Loughran who has been serving in a vital volunteer role. Written by Tricia, our National Volunteer Program Manager for the Military Program.

Jill Loughran is our Regional Volunteer Coordinator (RVC) for NAS Lemoore, CA.  Jill was first introduced to United  Through Reading at a brief given by Deborah Loeffler (Director of National Outreach) during a PO/XO Leadership  Course in San Diego.  As soon as she heard about the program, Jill knew it was an organization she wanted to be  involved with.  With Jill’s background as a teacher, United Through Reading encompasses the ideals that she  treasures, reading and family time.  Jill, a strong believer in the power of books and reading, looks forward to  spreading the word about the fabulous opportunities United Through Reading provides military families.

Jill Loughran our Regional Volunteer Coordinator in Lemoore, Ca.

With an opening for an RVC at NAS Lemoore to fill, Jill joined our team allowing for a seamless transition in the summer of 2009.  Her excellent organizational skills, background as an educator, and “take the ball and run with it”  professional style are sterling qualities that make her a valuable asset to the Military Program RVC Team and to  fulfilling the mission of this organization. She speaks at Air Squadron pre-deployment briefs and shares the wonderful news that the Military Program is available to Command personnel during their deployment. As the United Through Reading local representative at Family Readiness Group meetings and other various outreach events, Jill shares how our program will greatly benefit our military families during this time of separation.  In addition, Jill recruits and trains key volunteers for the Command who will assist with running the program.

Jill and her husband Rob, an F/A-18 pilot, live in Hanford, California with their three wonderful children.

Volunteer Appreciation: Meet Tricia!

In our ongoing series of Volunteer Recognition, I thought it would be insightful to ask Tricia, our Military Program National Volunteer Program Manager, a few questions before she shares her thanks to all her great volunteers. It is important to note that all of our programs, including the Transitions Program and Grandparents Program, are supported by volunteers.

News Chief:  Tricia, what drew you to United Through Reading?

Tricia:  I knew a previous employee and liked hearing about the different facets of the position, particularly the military aspect, given my four years of service in the United States Air Force.

NC:  What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Tricia:  Hearing the impact of our program and the benefit to military families. It is wonderful! Working with our volunteers, attending events and meeting beneficiaries there, all work together to make my job so rewarding.

NC:  Tell us a bit about your own family’s use of United Through Reading’s Military Program.

Tricia: My own family has utilized United Through Reading. My niece is in the U.S. Army. She made many DVDs for her daughter when she was stationed in Iraq for nine months. Her daughter was only four years old when she was deployed. My nieces daughter’s face used to light up as soon as she would put in a United Through Reading DVD sent by her Mommy.  Their reunion was seamless, not uncomfortable in anyway.  I have four other family members in four branches of the service as well, so the possibility of future use of the program is pretty certain.

NC: Could you estimate how many Volunteers you have trained in your time with United Through Reading?

Tricia: Over the past 4 ½ years, I have worked with 103 Military Program volunteers. I am currently working with 23 active volunteers of which are all in CONUS and Hawaii locations, although I have had volunteers in Japan!

NC:  Tricia, you have many aspects of your job you obviously enjoy, but what is the most fun?

Tricia: Meeting amazing military men and women who already have such full and busy lives yet they volunteer from their passion for the program and their desire to spread the word to other families.

NC:  If you had one thing you could say to all your Military Program volunteers right now, what would that be?

Tricia: Our Military Program volunteers deserve gratitude and applause for the selfless gift they give. Their time, energy, skills and talents are generously lent — again and again — are priceless!  Their efforts and dedication help make our organization better, our military communities stronger, and our world brighter. Thank you!

Volunteer Appreciation goes beyond the month of April

Although April is considered National Volunteer Appreciation month, United Through Reading is proud to present a series in continuing appreciation of our wonderful volunteers. Many will be highlighted here in READ! our blog as we bring our mission to you. They in turn will share what volunteering has meant to them and how they are inspired to give of their time and talents. We started this series in April with Tricia, our Military Program National Volunteer Program Manager. In this feature, Laura Hunt shares her experience with us. It is also fitting that this week, May 2-6, 2011, is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Laura is not only a volunteer for us but has ten years of teaching experience in the classroom! ~ Marcia, Social Media Manager, United Through Reading

“My name is Laura Hunt. I am a United Through Reading® Military Program Regional Volunteer Coordinator (RVC). I had been teaching elementary school for 10 years when I decided to take a break from the classroom. I heard about United Through Reading from my sister, who was at that time a volunteer for the program. Volunteering to be the RVC for my area was a great way to utilize my teaching skills, stay in touch with local military families, and best of all share the importance and joy of reading.

Regional Volunteer Coordinator of the Fayetteville, NC area, Laura Hunt

I live in Fayetteville, NC and my husband works on Fort Bragg. Every day we are reminded of the dedication, non-stop training, hard work, and the sacrifices that our military families make for our country. These soldiers are my friends, neighbors, and a huge part of this community. I am so happy to be able to share this wonderful program with them that helps them to stay connected during deployments. One of my favorite pre-deployment briefs I conducted was the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, known as ‘Devil Strike’. Nothing could have prepared me for the 300 enthusiastic paratroopers who cheered and yelled “WhooAh” throughout my presentation! I wasn’t sure if I should be exhilarated or terrified. I was honored at how much they appreciated the program that I was sharing with them.

I have had a rewarding and eventful year as Regional Volunteer Coordinator for Fort Bragg. Some of the most productive opportunities I have been involved with have been: I am on the local Military Child Task Force for Fayetteville, N.C.; I attended the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Fatherhood Forum in March where I met the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki; and I was on the round table discussion group with Joe Riojas the Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security, and Preparedness. In addition, I represented United Through Reading at the Month of the Military Child Resource Fair, spoke at The Division West Conference in Texas on Ft. Hood, presented and facilitated a discussion group at the local ‘Tell Me A Story Event’ with Parent to Parent, manned the resource table for ‘Birdies for the Brave’ Golf Tournament in Charlotte, N.C., and researched and categorized over 600 book titles for the United Through Reading book list on our web site.

Being a volunteer for the United Through Reading Military Program has been a way for me to give back to my community while sharing my skills as a teacher. Reaching out to children through reading aloud touches a family’s heart. I have enjoyed every minute and look forward to all of the terrific people I will meet in 2011.”