In April, a group of Georgetown alumni volunteered to spruce up Playground Ish at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. They spent their Saturday painting railings, raking sand, building a fire pit, and connecting over hard work to give Summer Campers and Preschool Powered by Play students a fresh space for big body play.

Leading the charge was Jennifer Dotson, a mother of two who works for Fundraise Up and volunteered with Greentrike at the Right to Play Gala in January. She and her family moved to the area from Hawaii during COVID-19, and Jennifer hit the ground running to find a community in Tacoma. She joined the Association of Fundraising Professionals board of directors and the parent teacher association at her childrens’ school, and quickly made connections with Greentrike employees through these organizations. 

“These are the kinds of small world connections that I grew up with in Hawaii and I never thought I would find again, but I’m finding it here and I love it. I really love it.”

When Jennifer volunteered at the Gala with her friend, she said she immediately felt welcome. Working side-by-side with staff, Jennifer lent her fundraising expertise to spot bids and energize donors during the event.  

Guests at the Right to Play Gala

“I really liked how valued we felt as volunteers. Once we walked in, we felt very welcome, like we were part of a family.”

During the Gala, Maria Gaytan, museums manager at Greentrike, shared a personal story about inviting a family into the Children’s Museum of Tacoma to escape the rain and sharing in their joy when they discovered admission was donation-based. This story resonated with Jennifer, who drew parallels to her own experience of moving to Tacoma and needing affordable places for her family to go.

“That was us. We had moved here from Hawaii. We didn’t have jobs yet. We had heard about the Children’s Museum of Tacoma and that it was more affordable…When I saw it was donation-based, we never felt pressured to donate. It was a very different experience…It was really nice to hear that story, because it wasn’t an isolated experience for us. There are so many other families that have benefited from this.”

Whether Jennifer is working with our volunteer manager to create an opportunity for her alumni group to give back or having her son’s birthday party at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, her sense of community has grown and Tacoma feels more like home than ever. 

Greentrike offers many opportunities to give back and grow your community! Check out our upcoming volunteer opportunities, or contact us to learn how you can support the 2023 Power of Play Lunch and 2024 Right to Play Gala.