What does a retired CEO, a stay-at-home mom and an emergency room physician have in common? They are three of 12 Tampa Bay people that are featured in online video testimonials in a volunteer recruitment effort for Voices for Children (VFC) of Tampa Bay.
VFC Executive Director, Betsy Smith said, “This multimedia/social effort relies on our partnership with community leaders, government and major media partners; together, we aim to identify local volunteer candidates for this very important role with our children. In Hillsborough County alone, there are over 1,200 children without guardianship.”
The effort started with 12 VFC volunteers of various backgrounds being interviewed without a script. Eric Polins, Senior Strategist/Partner at HCP, a Tampa-based research and marketing firm, worked with Smith and a team of people over the past year to coordinate a regional campaign with limited marketing dollars. “We captured the words of the volunteers and their real-life experiences; it’s highly emotional. Watching these videos makes you want to take on the challenge and do whatever you can to help these children.”
Shawn Conti, Leasing director by day and Law student by night didn’t expect such an intense interview during a recent filming session in early March, but was happy to share his true feelings after one year of volunteering. “Being a volunteer guardian takes determination, its takes compassion, and its takes someone who is able to relate to people on all different walks of life. I also know that if I didn’t do this, who would?”
Smith went on to say, “Children who have been abused or neglected often want someone to talk to, someone who listens to them, and they clearly need someone who will speak on their behalf. These children cannot be left on their own as they try to navigate an over-burdened court system that is well meaning and which tries to protect them, but which often falls short. There are times when these children feel lost and alone and need someone who will be there — just for them. Becoming a volunteer will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life; that I promise!”
SOURCE Voices for Children of Tampa Bay