Volunteer Spotlight – Diane Haguewood
At New Chapters our volunteers share our passion to inspire a love of books in at-risk youth. This is the sixth in our Volunteer Spotlight series, where we ask one of our volunteers a few questions.
Today, we are happy to shine the spotlight on Diane, one of our founding members. Diane has been an integral part of our mission since the very first book party we hosted at YESS in June 2012. Over the years, Diane has utilized her expertise with technology to set up and maintain our book inventory/check out databases, streamline our processes and keep us organized and technologically current as New Chapters has continued to grow and expand. She wears many hats including bookkeeper and website administrator. Diane is an avid reader who loves interacting with the kids and discussing favorite books. Her passion for our cause is evident in every task she undertakes!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a wife, and a mom to what you could say is a growing family. I have three terrific kids, two son-in-laws, and a darling grandson. I was a programmer/analyst in my first career, but now enjoy working part-time at Des Moines Performing Arts. I work in the ticket office and assist with all things regarding ticket sales.
How did you get involved with New Chapters?
I first got involved with New Chapters in the summer of 2012 when Stacie asked a few of her friends to assist with a summer reading program that she was developing at YESS.
What are you most excited about in your volunteer role with New Chapters?
I get super excited visiting with the kids one-on-one and I am really grateful for the opportunity to do so. One thing we emphasize is to introduce different book genres to the kids. We try and make this fun with our reading incentive programs, and we try really hard to get them excited about reading, even when they say they don’t read. I am most excited when a youth asks for a particular book that we don’t have on our shelves, and then we go out and buy it for them. Seeing their excitement, and sometimes disbelief that someone cares that much for them, is really cool. And I’m thankful to our wonderful donors who allow us to do so.
How has volunteering had an impact on you?
For me, I believe in giving back, and I try to volunteer where I can. Prior to volunteering at New Chapters, I was not aware of the needs of these kids in our community and the tough situations they find themselves in.
What is your favorite book?
I have so many but one of my favorites is Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
When I am not volunteering my favorite thing to do is travel. I enjoy exploring and learning about different people, places, and cultures. And if I am not traveling, I enjoy reading about travel! I love how a good book can take you away to other places and other worlds whether real or imaginary.
What do you wish other people knew about New Chapters?
I’d like people to know that as it turns out, these libraries are really important to at-risk kids whether they reside in a youth shelter, transitional living facility, or juvenile detention. There are many people who want to give, so if we can bring awareness, and if we can connect a donor with the need, that is a good thing. I do know it is possible once a seed is planted, through perseverance and hard work, you can grow that seed into a reality. I never dreamed that first summer reading program would evolve into six new library spaces for at-risk youth. Our love of books and passion for helping kids led us here. I hope it inspires others to find their passion.
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.