Pictured from left to right are READ/Orange County staff with the Excellence in Volunteerism Award winner: Carol Tsai, Barbara Neder, Rebecca Braun, Tangela Ashe, Linda Kricfalusi & Mattew Le.
ACTION: What does the volunteer do?
Linda Kricfalusi joined READ/Orange County’s (READ/OC) volunteer team in 2005, and over the past nine years, she has served as a literacy tutor, Friends of READ/OC Board Member and general volunteer. READ/OC provides tutoring in basic reading and writing to adult learners throughout Orange County. The Friends of READ/OC is an organization committed to the support of the literacy service of OC Public Libraries, primarily through resource development, public awareness and recognition services for volunteers and learners.
As a Friends of READ/OC Board Member, Linda assumed leadership roles as president, vice president, committee chair and treasurer. Throughout her time with the organization, she consistently stepped forward to lend a helping hand with whatever task or project required attention. One of her most admirable qualities is her knack for sensing what needs to be done, and once she identifies an issue, she quietly addresses the matter without being asked.
Linda’s signature activity has been organizing READ/OC’s largest volunteer recognition event – the Annual Family Picnic and Appreciation Celebration. Under Linda’s exceptional guidance, the picnic has blossomed into a greatly anticipated and well-attended celebration. Each year, a unique theme becomes the event’s centerpiece and is incorporated into every aspect of the program, including elaborate, hand-crafted decorations; specially designed save-the-date cards and invitations; unique set designs; and one-of-kind games. The recognition planning also requires securing donations of awesome door prizes and recruiting a team of dedicated volunteers to work the event.
Linda’s fervent commitment to READ/OC has influenced her family to also support the program by volunteering at the Annual Family Picnic and Appreciation Celebration and serving on the Friends of READ/OC Board. In addition, Linda and her family host one of the Friends’ most successful fundraisers each summer, and throughout the year, they host a variety of themed and fun-filled birthday and anniversary parties that include an invitation to family and friends to donate to the Friends of READ/OC in lieu of gifts. Party attendees enjoy a great event while being introduced to the literacy services provided by READ/OC. Over the years, Linda’s family and friends have become literacy advocates, helping to promote the cause of literacy within their communities.
Linda retired from the Friends of READ/OC Board in 2014, but continues to support the organization through her active involvement on the Recognition Activities Committee, especially in planning the Annual Family Picnic and Appreciation Celebration and Fall Feast.
NEED: What community need does the volunteer address?
Linda originally served with READ/OC as a literacy tutor, but she quickly realized the positive impact she could make as a Friends Board Member by tapping into her creative talents and leadership abilities. She remained a staunch supporter of the Friends through thick and thin, weathering the ups and downs of membership and filling in whenever needed. Regardless of the numerous responsibilities that board membership required, Linda always got things done. Her effective organizational and leadership skills and practical can-do attitude helped keep the program focused and moving forward.
IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?
Linda is best known for her over-the-top creativity and artistic excellence at the Annual Family Picnic and Appreciation Celebration. The event recognizes program participants and helps motivate them to continue their involvement as literacy tutors or learners. Less well celebrated, but even more impactful, is the inspiration and organization that Linda provides behind the scenes. In her role as treasurer, she kept the Friend’s finances balanced and well managed. As board president, she provided outstanding leadership to ensure that board business was accomplished. When others weren’t available to manage a task, she took on the job herself. The Friends of READ/OC can best be described as a “working” board, and Linda took that role seriously when carrying out the numerous duties that membership entailed.
INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?
Since 2005, Linda has logged in more than 2,000 hours of service, and she is without a doubt one of the most committed and hard-working volunteers in the history of READ/OC. She leads by example and demonstrates phenomenal dedication and energy. Most importantly, Linda has a wonderful way of influencing everyone she encounters to make a difference in Orange County by getting involved, doing more, sharing in her vision, and forwarding the cause of literacy through active participation in READ/OC.
Thank you and congratulations to Linda Kricfalusi recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!
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