“Got it!” a voice exclaims. “We got golf and a restaurant combination to go with our hotel stay. Now we have a lovely vacation package.” The beaming face belongs to Sandi Lindstrom. She’s made a few phone calls seeking donations for WACAP’s Children’s Hope Auction, and moments later, she’s marveling at the generosity of her community and typing the description for several in-kind donations into WACAP’s auction database. Nearby is her friend of many years, Pam Stiles-Anderson, also hard at work. Because of Pam, everything’s in order for the auction attendees she’s carefully registering, not missing a keystroke. At this busy time of year, the atmosphere’s merrier with Pam and Sandi near.
Pam has been coming to the WACAP office for nearly 30 years, and Sandi for 20 — giving a recurring gift to the organization. They’ve each donated thousands of volunteer hours to WACAP, sometimes working from sunup to sundown to support WACAP’s annual fundraising event. Why? Because, as Sandi says, “WACAP makes such a difference in the lives of so many kids, and if you give to WACAP, that gift is going to achieve something.”
Pam became involved with WACAP in 1982, attending an informational class to seek more information about adopting. When she became pregnant with twins, she and her husband decided to pursue adoption at a different time, but Pam became involved volunteering for WACAP’s auction. She supported procurement at first, and ultimately she and Sandi served together as WACAP’s auction chairs. “The people at WACAP and the mission at WACAP always rang so true to me. They always felt like the people I belonged with,” she notes. Adopting two children from China, in 2001 and 2007, Pam and her husband Tom are now parents of five, and they know the impact a family makes. Pam continues to be an advocate for WACAP, staying involved in trainings and also regularly supporting adoptive families by participating in WACAP’s Parent Support and Solutions group. Also having served as WACAP’s board chair, Pam remembers traveling to orphanages with WACAP staff and seeing children without the home they needed desperately — witnessing over and over “how important a family is.”
Sandi and her husband Dave — who adopted two children from Colombia in 1988 and 1990 — share a similar story. They were touched by a boy who, because of his older age, continued to wait in an orphanage but dreamed of one day, flying on a plane to meet a loving family and coming home. Seeing his commitment and resolve to not give up — and the need that so many children like him have for a family — Sandi and Dave were inspired to do what they could. Sandi’s husband, who served on the WACAP board, encouraged her get involved with auction procurement. After 20 years, serving in different roles for the auction, she continues to build strong relationships inside and outside of the office.
Together, Pam and Sandi share stories together, remembering the display boards they glued late into the evening, smiling about problems solved, and reminiscing about passing time … the good times. “If you have the time, even if one day, volunteering for WACAP is a wonderful thing to do,” Sandi says. Pam echoes her, “If you volunteer here, you move closer to helping that child, closer to getting that child the family he wants and needs.”
The Children’s Hope Gala and Auction helps support WACAP’s Promise Fund, which allows staff to identify children most in need across the globe and bring them home. Coming to WACAP each year — giving time, or giving to the auction — in both Pam and Sandi’s words comes down to this: “You’ll feel like you’ve made a difference, and you really are making a difference.”
Pam and Sandi, we couldn’t say it better. You really are … Thank you.