This month’s Project Leader Spotlight belongs to volunteer extraordinaire Crystal Hayes. Crystal first began volunteering with HandsOn Broward back in 2008, and got more actively involved in 2014. Last June, she completed the Project Leader Training. Crystal wanted to take a more active role in volunteering because giving back to her community has always been something she values.
“Being raised with a humble awareness and the emphasis on giving back in different ways, I maintained the idea as an adult and encourage others to do the same,” Crystal said.
Crystal understands the importance of volunteering to our community, and also to us as individuals as well. “Personally, volunteering gives me something to look forward to, and the gift of self-accomplishment helping people of different levels and status throughout the community is a reward within itself,” she said. “Professionally, volunteering has increased my speaking communication skills, time management and raised my level of dedication to a project and/or an assignment other than personal.”
Crystal served as a Project Leader back in August at CSC’s Back to School Community Extravaganza. Her positive attitude and warm smile encouraged volunteers to maintain an optimistic outlook during a long day of service.
“After witnessing the clarity and the passion of the staff at HandsOn Broward, the choice to take the next step to lead included the increased level of appreciation to the volunteer agency, HandsOn Broward, the smiles and laughter of families being served during these events, and the drive to become a better leader in the process,” she said.
In November, Crystal became the Project Leader for our monthly project at the Miramar Community Garden. “It’s an honor to work in the role as a Project Leader for the Miramar Community Garden (MCG). I am blessed to be chosen for this site, which is a family of volunteers among a group of strangers. During the MCG project, we laugh, learn and have fun at the same time. Working with the project liaison, Elsi, has been amazing,” she said. “I am officially an honorary member of the garden club. I assist in every aspect of the garden’s operations to include fundraising, suggestions, ideas and flow of daily activities. Prior to being a part of the MCG team of big hearted volunteers, I knew nothing about the importance of soil, planting, the use of transplants, amount of water or the many different types of tomatoes that one can grow. Since accepting the position as Project Leader at the garden, I have my own mini garden I started at home to fill the gap of missing the garden, MCG members and all the volunteers from HandsOn Broward outside of our scheduled days.”
Crystal believes anyone with the passion to lead, concern for other people, and a desire to serve their community should take the step to go from HandsOn Broward volunteer to Project Leader. She sums up her feelings with one of her favorite quotes from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
You are the change, Crystal! A sincere thank you for all that you do for HandsOn Broward, the Miramar Community Garden, and Broward County.
Interested in participating in the monthly Miramar Community Garden project with Crystal? Click here to sign up.