Some people have volunteering in their blood. At least that’s what anyone who knows Barbara Willett would think. Barbara is the consummate volunteer. She began volunteering at Cholee Lake Elementary School in 2003 when her son started kindergarten. Barbara became actively involved as a PTA member and eventually served as treasurer, vice-president, and president. She was doing everything you could imagine; popping and selling popcorn, and managing fund-raisers. If the school was hosting an event–Barbara was willing to lend a hand. From teacher appreciation week to career day and the school carnival, Barbara worked diligently to make them all successful. This stay-at-home mother of two assisted regularly in the Media Center which gave her opportunities to help organize the book fair. And if all that that wasn’t enough, she also served as the school’s volunteer coordinator which can be a taxing job in itself!
In 2009 Barbara began volunteering at Pine Jog Elementary when the newly-built school became their home school. She immediately got busy doing similar volunteer work there. Barbara worked as a volunteer coordinator for school, as well as serving as PTA vice-president and president. She helped start an All Pro Dad’s Program, ran the book fair, carnivals, and fall festivals. In her spare time, Barbara worked on fund-raisers, picture day, and teacher appreciation week. Fitness events and other free family events were also on her to-do list. It was during this time that Barbara served on the Palm Beach County Council of PTSA for 3 years as the Environmental chair and served as their representative on the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Barbara said, “When you are a stay-at-home mom, nobody makes a big deal when you mop the floor. But when you volunteer in a school, you are thanked the moment you walk through the front door. Volunteering is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”
When Barbara’s daughter went to Lake Worth Middle School, so did Barbara! Since 2016 she has been providing transportation for the track team and helping with the Warrior Bucks Store. Barbara’s son attends Suncoast High School. There, Barbara volunteers with the PTSA at the snack bar twice a week. She also has volunteered at Galaxy Elementary School’s Media Center and at Cypress Trails assisting with volunteer training.
When Barbara ran into Debi Elfen, the School District’s volunteer program coordinator, Barbara told her to call her if she ever needed any help. Debi decided to take her up on her offer. In the past year, Barbara has presented training, worked at events, and now even comes into the Volunteer Office. Debi said “It has been very hard since I lost all of my support staff and having Barbara help has been such a godsend. An extra person has made a world of difference to me.” Currently Barbara has been helping Debi get ready for the office’s Volunteer and Business Partnership Coordinators’ Appreciation Luncheon. Kudos to Barbara Willett for everything she has done and continues to do for our students and teachers.