09.26.2018

Treehouse Volunteer Reaches 10,000 Hours

By Anna Bintinger, Treehouse Marketing and Policy Intern

Ann Huber and her husband, John, originally became licensed foster parents to provide in-home respite care for a developmentally disabled daughter of a friend. One phone call later, that decision would turn into a lifelong passion.

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“I got a call to see if I would do respite care for a little girl from Issaquah,” Ann said. “We quickly realized that her long-term placement wasn’t a safe environment and reported it to Child Protective Services. Because we were some of the only adults she knew, we were asked to take her in long term. My first involvement with Treehouse was shopping in their free store for her.”

Ann and her husband would go on to provide care for infants and toddlers with special needs in their own home for 12 years. When they decided they were no longer able to provide 24/7 care, Ann’s work with Treehouse’s free store began. She is now one of the organization’s most dedicated volunteers.

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“As we were moving into grandparenting the two little boys who had been in our care, I checked out volunteering in Treehouse’s free store,” Ann said. “I know from my own personal experience how essential the resources are that Treehouse provides. The money foster parents get from the state for these kids comes nowhere near covering some of the most basic expenses.”

Now in her eighth year at Treehouse, Ann has contributed 10,000 hours volunteering. That total stands out even at an organization that prides itself on more than 2,000 volunteers lending a hand annually. With more tenure than most of the fulltime staff, she’s taken on more and more responsibility through the years. She now manages the entire infant and toddler department of the store.

“I’m not a person who’s going to do a lot of playing all day in retirement. I’ve always been better at working than playing,” Ann said. “This is a great outlet for what I really like to spend my time doing. One of the fun things about volunteering here at Treehouse is being in the environment with primarily younger people. Having relationships with young people that aren’t family is really cool, and everyone at Treehouse is committed to this mission.”

Ann’s dedication to children in foster care is nothing short of breathtaking. Her passion for helping comes directly from her belief—one shared by Treehouse—that the community as a whole is responsible for all of its children. For Ann, volunteering is a way to directly live out this belief and make an impact on the lives of youth and their caregivers.

“To provide them with the best shopping experience and the best stuff when they shop, that’s what keeps me going,” Ann said. “We’re changing our community in a very positive way. Every kid who launches successfully into adulthood as opposed to repeating the cycle they were born into, makes our community better.”

Want to learn more about how you can volunteer for Treehouse? Contact Megan Meyer at volunteer@treehouseforkids.org or 206-267-5117.

 

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About the Author

Anna Bintinger is a Marketing and Policy Intern at Treehouse. She is passionate about sharing others’ stories to make a positive change.


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