Hi, I’m Carol Ayars, CVA. I love to share my passion of working with volunteers. I understand what volunteers want because I am a volunteer myself and have been since I was a young child. When I was five, my Granny was the town’s Cub Scout Den Mother and I was in charge of teaching the boys how to tie knots. I’ve been volunteering since!
I am happily married to my college sweetheart, Chris, for almost 28 years and we are now empty-nesters, also known as second honeymooners. We are currently in the process of moving to Virginia as my husband, a veteran, is branching out on his own with his business. He is the kite string that keeps this pink zebra grounded on this journey called life.
We have three grown children: Jamie, our son who lives in Pennsylvania and is still figuring out his way in life; a daughter and son-in-love who live in Illinois where Cassie is a math teacher and Nate is a postal worker and our youngest daughter, Lissa, is a college sophomore in Florida.
I currently work for Carpenter’s Place which is a day shelter for homeless men and women in Rockford, Illinois. Carpenter’s Place provides the tools necessary for rebuilding the lives of homeless adults. I am the Community Engagement Coordinator which simply means I engage the community at CP though volunteering and in-kind donations.
Not only do I love working with volunteers but I see the value of volunteering as I actively volunteer myself, especially with those that I feel could fall through the cracks with someone who cares about them being involved in their life.
I love working with kids and at my church, I am an Awana leader and game leader and have been involved with this program for 29 years. I also am a lifetime Girl Scout and, even though my own daughters are graduated, I am still a troop leader of high school girls and also train leaders, especially how to take their girls camping.
For years, I have felt that my lack of a college degree has held me back on jobs that I have the experience for but not the degree. Since there is no degree in Volunteer Management and I have no desire to run a nonprofit, I started checking into more educational opportunities in my field. I discovered the Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) which is a competency-based professional certification program for those with a strong foundation in volunteer administration and there are only about 1,700 CVA’s in the world. Being a CVA lends credibility to those who achieve this status which I did in the spring of 2017.
My favorite quote is by Helen Keller … “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” I believe people who choose to work in the nonprofit field are led by what they feel with their heart and that is why they passionately serve others.