Linda Johnson has been a volunteer in Valley Village’s Saturday program since August 2019. The Saturday program organizes community-based outings and trips each weekend for program participants in Valley Village’s residential program. The Saturday program relies on coordination between staff and volunteers. Linda explains, “I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer in the San Fernando Valley. A friend recommended Volunteermatch.com, so I went online and saw Valley Village’s post for help at Super Saturday. I submitted my online application, and soon after, I heard from Jennifer Haake at Valley Village.” Linda volunteered with program participants during their visit to the Peterson Automotive Museum in August 2019, and she’s been a consistent volunteer since then.
Linda enjoys the positive energy she gives and receives when she’s volunteering at Valley Village with program participants. When asked about her most memorable experience so far with the program, Linda shared, “The trip to Corbin Bowl over the holiday break in 2019 was so much fun because I was able to engage with each client and experience how they engage with each other. Valley Village staff had arranged for us to use 13 bowling lanes, and I was able to spend time at each one. It was a big deal for program participants to have their names on the scoreboard – they loved that. They liked watching their own and each other’s progress in the game. I saw the friendships they share and how they support and cheer for one another. The comradery among them is amazing. There is no animosity. Everyone is there to have a good time and support each other, regardless of which house they live in at Valley Village.”
When asked what she would say to people considering volunteerism with nonprofits like Valley Village, Linda had this to say. “The program participants get a lot of enrichment going out in the community for activities. As a volunteer, you gain so much more just being with them and experiencing the positivity and happiness they share. You just go in and allow yourself to have fun and be different from that person who works 8 to 5 every day. It’s a very rewarding experience – the most rewarding thing I’ve done.
During the workweek, you can find Linda working in her job at UCLA where she is the Manager for Healthcare Information Technology. She has been at UCLA for 19 years, and 3 years in her current role. Linda supervises a team of eight trainers. Her position involves a lot of project management. Linda has a BS in Applied Math from UCLA and an MBA in General Management from CSU Dominguez Hills.
If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to become a volunteer at Valley Village, visit the volunteer section of our website.