Volunteer Cindy Crane is committed to Bright Futures for Youth and its efforts to “address the health and well-being of our young people.”
She came across Bright Futures for Youth while attending the Power of the Purse, an annual fundraiser for the organization, with a friend in 2016. She has been investing in the future of young people since.
“I knew nothing about The Friendship Club, but was just looking forward to a fun afternoon,” she says of attending Power of the Purse. “When a few of the girls got up to speak about their experiences with The Friendship Club, I was truly touched by their honesty and dedication to this wonderful organization. When donation envelopes were passed around, I checked the box that said, ‘Would you like to be a volunteer?’ “
Crane volunteers to drive girls from local schools to The Friendship Club program on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. It’s a big commitment that she embraces.
“It’s such a rewarding experience,” she says. “Every year I get a new group of girls. When we start the year, they are usually very quiet, and don’t seem to want to have a lot of interaction with me, and are pretty guarded. As time progresses, and they start to feel more comfortable, they will slowly start to include me in their conversations. Probably one of the best feelings for me is when I am waiting at the designated pick-up spot, and the girls see me standing there, and they have big smiles on their faces. It just warms my heart.”
Connections are at the center of The Friendship Club, a program for girls and young women that started in 1995. And volunteers are a huge part of its success.
“She is a stellar volunteer because she cares about the girls she drives,” says Cindy Hintz, community engagement manager of Bright Futures for Youth. “She makes it a point to converse when the girls want to chat, and she makes them feel comfortable. I love her cheerful nature and her incredible sense of humor. She gets kids and enjoys her time with them.”
Crane also volunteers for other Bright Future for Youth efforts, including the annual Power of the Purse fundraiser, which returned in spring 2022.
“My association with Bright Futures for Youth has been nothing but inspiring,” Crane says. “There is such a need in this area to address the health and well-being of our young people, and the staff at Bright Futures is dedicated to meeting that need. I love that I am a part of it.”