Joanne, a resident of downtown San Diego, has been actively volunteering at PWI each week for well over a year. Joanne and her husband relocated from the Bay Area 2 years ago, and she found herself with time on her hands and a desire to get involved in the community. After a chance meeting with a PWI board member, she was immediately drawn to the mission of PWI and inquired about volunteer opportunities. Days later, Joanne arrived at PWI’s door and the rest is history. She joined our cadre of volunteers, woking hand-in-hand with our clients in our Work and Training Center, and is loved by staff and clients alike. Joanne is dependable, kind-hearted and, simply, an awesome volunteer.
Joanne’s connection to the developmental disabilities community goes back to 1963, when her daughter was board with a very rare genetic condition called Cri du Chat Syndrome, also known as the 5P-Syndrome, referring to the missing 5th chromosome. Her daughter Heidi was diagnosed shortly after birth by an astute pediatrician who recognized the signs immediately. This changed the direction of Joanne’s life, in many ways, forever. Joanne quickly recognized that she needed to learn as much as she could to care for her daughter, and when Heidi was just three months old, Joanne went back to school to get her credentials in Special Education and enjoyed a wonderful career in that field.
Joanne feels strongly that “those of us who are fortunate should be giving back to the community.” Enhancing the lives of others is important to Joanne and she looks forward to volunteering at PWI each week. She recently said, “This is THE highlight of my week. I get such tremendous reward from being here with clients. It is such a pleasure volunteering at PWI with the amazing individuals who try their best and work so hard. I look forward to coming here each week – they really lift me up!”
Thank you, Joanne, for all you do for PWI! Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and treasure with PWI and the individuals we serve. You are truly making a difference in our community!