Volunteer Profile: Heather Lambert
Describe the purpose of the Fairbanks Children’s Museum.
Our purpose is to create a space where children and families can go to enjoy playful learning in a clean space. We envision an exploratory, hands-on place where kids could be comfortable being kids while also growing their minds and engaging their imaginations. Also, a destination for parents and caretakers where they can enjoy their children’s learning and playing in a safe and open space that doesn’t require a planned time or event.
What do you do for the Museum?
I am a cheerleader, a faithful founder, a huge supporter of our Executive Director, and the muscle when need be. I have helped with applying for our 501(c)(3) designation and writing our business plan, as well as conceptualizing and implementing each of our phases of growth. I’ve also run the Board of Directors since we formed.
How and why did you get started volunteering?
My first volunteer experience was at the Fairbanks Resource Agency when my mother worked there; I was in 4th grade at Barnette. Until my mom got off work, after school, I would go help the clients with the jobs they were working on. I served on my first Board, for a suicide hotline for teens, when I was in high school.
Why did you choose to work with this specific organization?
I believe in and am passionate about their mission.
What do you gain from your experiences volunteering?
I love seeing parents relax and enjoy their children, it’s so sweet for me to see a dad (or mom, or any caretaker for that matter) engaged in their child’s growth. It’s amazing to watch them disengage from their stressful daily lives to watch their children explore, to observe and mimic the smiles that cross the sweet faces of their little ones as they wonder at the new things they’re experiencing. It brings me joy to see kids having fun and playing with their parents and other kids, but there are lasting connections that happen with the adults too – this is just another piece to the puzzle that brings our community together.
Tell us about a favorite or impactful volunteering experience.
My favorites were the first Museum Without Walls at the Artisan’s Courtyard and the last one at the University. The gratitude and appreciation from parents at both of these meant so much to me.
Every time I hear from someone in the community who appreciates something I’ve worked on, I feel like I’m making a difference. I try to do a little but for many organizations – time, money, promotion, attendance, woman power – it’s all important. With every sign of appreciation I get, I know I’m making a difference.
Why do you feel volunteering is important for the community at large?
With one non-profit for every 100 people in Alaska, we all need to be a part of it; our community and our non-profits need us to volunteer. It’s important for our community members to put time and/or monies towards their passions. Many of our non-profits still need those hands-on hours and you’ll feel great after giving your time, so it’s a win win.
# of Volunteers: 15
Our goal is to build a permanent children’s museum for Fairbanks. Our mission is to inspire and connect families through the power of play and discovery. The need for quality opportunities for young learners is great in our community. Our focus is on promoting creativity, social understanding and connections and STEM concepts (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The Golden Heart Heroes program exists to recognize and honor the individuals who strengthen our community by giving of themselves in the service of others, freely and without recompense.
- To raise the profile of volunteerism in our community in order to honor the dedicated individuals who give their time.
- To encourage volunteering as a way of life by presenting a positive message to the public and acting as a resource to connect people with agencies in need.
- To promote a culture of gratitude wherein the impact of an individual act of volunteering is amplified by the appreciation of the recipient as well as that of the community.