HandsOn SD welcomes its first staff member!

13450169_10153590678057823_6827794083043628108_nHi everyone -my name is Lucy and I am excited to be the new Program and Operations Coordinator! I hope I can help give the volunteers and Team Leaders a smooth, impactful and, above all, fun experience.

I grew up in San Diego where late-night Mexican food and spending the day at the beach was the norm.  After attending Mesa College, I wanted a change of scenery (but nothing too cold) and there wasn’t much that could compete with Southern California.  Transferring to the University of Hawaii seemed like a temporary idea, but I soon fell in love with the “Aloha Spirit” and eventually spent the next eight years on the island learning and growing as a professional.

I discovered a love of working for nonprofits and spent a few years in tropical paradise as a Case Manager for Goodwill Industries. I knew working in the nonprofit sector with equally passionate and hardworking people was something I wanted to continue, but when I moved back to San Diego, I found it difficult to find meaningful work in the social sector. After being gone for so long, the city and the people changed so much that I had to start all over in my hometown.

I started networking in the nonprofit community and quickly found like-minded, passionate people who also became trusted friends! I also found my niche as the “professional volunteer” who worked in the for-profit sector. I helped friends at their events, signed up for every project or committee that needed a boost, and advocated for every cause I thought was worthwhile (ask me about the bunny burritos!). My most meaningful service was being on the Advisory Board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network for four years. I learned about the managing committees and recruiting rockstar volunteers, and the sheer dedication it takes for board service.

After all this time, finding my way back into working for a nonprofit has been exhilarating! I can geek out about volunteer engagement, 990 forms and collaborative partnerships and nobody thinks I’m weird.

I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned in the small business world into HandsOn and to help it grow in the community. Feel free to contact me anytime you have any questions about HandsOn, the importance of volunteer retention… or if you want to talk about cats.

~Lucy Lu

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