Victorious Volunteerism

featured_volunteerism-27Jill Faso found importance in helping those in need from a very young age. While most teenagers longed for their drivers’ license for social aspects, Faso’s need for mobility ran a bit deeper, allowing her to become active in animal rescue in her small hometown in the Sierra Nevada foothills. After high school, Jill lived in several different areas of California before settling down in Stockton in 1998.

Her decision to call San Joaquin home led her to a position at Fritz Chin Photography as their Community Relations and Studio Coordinator. For Jill, this job was an eye opener in regards to the importance of the community and the businesses that make a difference in the lives of its residents. This difference and influence was clearly measurable, as her employers and friends, the Chin’s, lost their daughter, Annica, due to a premature birth of 25 weeks. “Erica Chin told me more than once that, had it not been for the support of the March of Dimes, she would have never made it through such a loss,”
Faso remembers.

volunteerism_2Erica’s words stuck with Jill. She began to work more closely with the directors and volunteers that assisted her friend through a truly painful time. After years of involvement with March of Dimes, Faso was asked to Chair their first Signature Chef’s Auction in 2012. This experience led her to what she calls her “labor of love.” “That particular experience volunteering, made me realize I had an opportunity to truly be a part of something special,” Faso says. “It is very gratifying to know that your hard work and effort bring comfort to those in times of great suffering.”

In March of 2013, Faso’s volunteer work with the March of Dimes matured and she was named their Senior Community Director and Development Manager of four counties; Stanislaus, Amador, Tuolumne and
San Joaquin.

Though she is celebrating two years this March with the organization, she still learns something new every day. “The depth of our work and the magnitude of the contribution our research makes to understanding and preventing complications of child birth and promoting healthy babies is amazing,” she says.

March of Dimes researches premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality with the goal of , “Every baby born healthy.” One out of every 8 babies is born premature, and Jill works with the foundation to eliminate these potentially life threatening births for every child.

volunteerism_3As a mother of a five-year-old boy, the weight of these statistics hit close to home, as Jill explains, “My son spent the first week of his life in the NICU because he had ingested some meconium at birth. I have experienced the life of a NICU parent first hand and know the stress and worry that comes with having a sick baby. We were lucky that my son received excellent care and recovered quickly. He is a very active and healthy boy now!”

Jill’s endless hours spent fundraising, recruiting volunteers, and managing events, among other things, are constantly gratified by the extreme generosity from the community and the funds that are raised in support of the MOD mission. Jill attributes her fundraising successes to the wonderful members of the San Joaquin community that have given, so generously, their time and financial support. “I have met the most wonderful people here and the community has a lot of heart,” Jill says.

The impact March of Dimes has on the San Joaquin community is immeasurable, as the foundation benefits every child born in the community, either directly or indirectly. Jill is effortlessly reminded of this impact, constantly, “I will never forget one night I was out to dinner and a lady came up to my table and asked if I worked for the March of Dimes. She then said, ‘My daughter is alive today because of the March of Dimes.’ Those words still give me goose bumps. I have heard them many times since and they never become less powerful.”

For More Information:
March of Dimes
1729 Tully Rd., Modesto
(209) 522-5626, Marchofdimes.org

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