Volunteer Spotlight: Maria Tackett

How did you first get connected to UMFS?

I first connected with UMFS through my church, Area 10 Faith Community. Volunteer leaders there knew about UMFS’ tutoring program and put me in touch with staff. I’ve been doing it for three years now and I enjoy it a lot. I go once a week and work with a student for about 30 to 45 minutes. I switch back and forth tutoring kids from Charterhouse School and the day school. Typically, I work with one student for about a semester to a year. Occasionally I’ll work with a student for just a couple of weeks to prepare for standardized testing.


What have you learned from the kids you’ve tutored?

A lot! They like to share whatever hobbies they’re interested in. for instance, one student told me all about the ins and out of various video games. Another shared with me he knows about racing dirt bikes. Recently a student in the Charterhouse School cosmetology class was giving me hair and makeup tips.


How else have you been involved with UMFS?

I’ve done a few volunteer projects through Area 10. We have a day each year, called “Rise Richmond,” when we all engage in volunteer projects instead of going to church. One year I helped paint a cottage. Last year we cleaned up the industrial kitchen the students use for the culinary classes.


What would you say to someone who might be thinking of supporting UMFS?

I would say to go ahead and do it. The kids are great. I love getting to know the students and they are always interesting to be around. Also, the organization is great from a volunteer perspective. Angie and Lisa, the UMFS volunteer team, make volunteering easy and fun. There’s a way for anyone who wants to support UMFS to get involved.


What else do you want people to know about UMFS?

What continues to surprise me is how much goes on at UMFS. The level of impact the organization has on the lives of kids you serve and on the lives of your donors and volunteers is truly inspiring.