National Volunteer Week Q&A- Krysten Hoverson

Krysten Hoverson is not only a NASCAR Foundation Employee Ambassador to help spread the word about The Foundation within NASCAR but also volunteers with other organizations in the community.

1. Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
I became a volunteer for the NASCAR Foundation for a few reasons. First, I am an avid volunteer. Volunteering is kind of my hobby, it is something I enjoy, am gifted at, and makes me happy, like others have fishing or crafting as a hobby I spend my time volunteering. Second, as an employee of NASCAR I was given the great opportunity of being an employee ambassador to the NASCAR Foundation and do my best to promote the great work that the foundation is doing among my co-workers which magnifies my efforts to help by informing others the little ways they can give back as well.

2. What aspect of our mission motivates you to volunteer?
I think everyone can agree that helping children is a calling within us all in some way or another and The NASCAR Foundation has made a great commitment to helping children through education and medical care. It pulls at your heartstrings to know that a child, who is too young to fight for themselves is in need of something vital, by volunteering with the NASCAR Foundation I can help fight for them, whether it be providing a key supply for their education or a smile to help them get through a tough day at the hospital, I want to be an advocate for those who can’t yet advocate for themselves.

3. What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
Obviously, I think the main reason I enjoy volunteering is the ability to help others. But I think there is a lot that I receive out of volunteering that encourages me to volunteer as often as possible. As a shy person I find that placing myself in new situations is much easier when I am motivated by the ability to give back. When I am volunteering I come out of my shell and I can walk up to people and ask for donations or offer a helping hand without thinking twice. I also enjoy that volunteering offers different experiences that I don’t get in everyday life, and I have always enjoyed trying new things, mostly because I like to know how things work, so walking in someone else’s shoes for the day gives me insight into the world I couldn’t otherwise receive. Through volunteering I have gone camping with the Girl Scouts, played Bingo via TV/Radio at the Levine’s Children’s Hospital, given out Christmas Gifts to over a thousand families via the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, seen my own Platelets after donating using an apheresis machine, visited Victory Junction Gang Camp Family Weekend with the NASCAR Foundation. I enjoy helping others by volunteering but I also enjoy the once in a lifetime experiences and walking in other people’s shoes that give me more insight into the world that I live in.

4. Describe a typical day volunteering.
I don’t think there is ever a "typical" day of volunteering. Every day, even when you volunteer to do the same activity more than once, is always different. Some volunteer days I get to visit patients in the children’s hospital and others I am standing outside in a hurricane collecting thousands of pounds of food for the pantry. Some days I am teaching kids how to eat healthy and other days I am going business to business looking for silent auction items to raise money for charity. The people you interact with can sometimes be the same but are often different. The diversity in volunteering experiences, being able to interact with different people in different walks of life, and applying different skills are all a part of why volunteering is an addition to my career and family in my life.

5. What kind of satisfaction do you get from volunteering?
My greatest satisfaction from volunteering is just knowing that I, as one person, can make a difference. The true simplicity of one person making other people smile, or feel better for a minute, or relieve a burden is the greatest satisfaction anyone can get in this world. You don’t have to change the whole world, but one person can change one person’s world.

6. What motivates and inspire you do your best? Do you set any goals?
The easy answer is that I am motivated by the need that others have which I can fill and inspired by those who face more challenges than I have and keep a positive attitude to keep going forward. However, I do believe that I also have an internal drive to accomplish things on top of the overwhelming need to see people smile. So when it comes to running the annual food drive for the Girl Scouts Meck 1 service unit I want to collect more than last year (even during Hurricane Matthew we raised over 2,000 more pounds of food and $600 more dollars than the previous year). And when I am collecting items for my first silent auction with the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary when I end up with 30 items valuing over $2,000 I still wish I could collect more.

7. What are two accomplishments you are most proud of?
I find this to be the hardest question. I don’t think I have done anything outstanding, but I am proud of the feeling of accomplishment every time I can help. I enjoy the appreciation and knowing that I can provide something to someone who has less that I do. Most of the time in volunteering you don’t directly see the benefactor of your generosity or work, but there is still that feeling inside as if that person walked up to you and expressed their appreciation. If pressed to list 2 accomplishments, I was one cog in the greater wheel that produced the following:

  • Lead the Girl Scout Meck 1 Annual Food Drive: Collected over 20,000 lbs of food in 2 years for 2 North Mecklenburg Loaves’ and Fishes
  • Worked over 70+ hours at the Salvation Army Christmas Center in 2016: Provided presents to over 10,000 children in the greater Charlotte area