As we unveil our Volunteer of the Month for November, we are thrilled to spotlight Hillary Larkin, someone whose dedication and passion have significantly impacted our mission. Hillary expresses genuine shock when asked about her reaction upon learning of her nomination. “I did it out of the kindness of my heart,” she humbly shares. Her motivation? A desire to contribute more to Hope For The Warriors, turning her acts of goodwill into an opportunity for others to donate generously.
Last year, Hillary’s husband Wyatt, a professional golfer and long-time HOPE supporter, initiated “Hoosiers For Hope.” Outside of fundraising, the event aimed to bring HOPE to the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area. In the weeks leading up to the event in early October, Hillary played a pivotal role in bringing awareness to the community by involving local businesses.
Wyatt’s connection with Hope For The Warriors dates back to 2011 when he donated to HOPE for every birdie he hit…and as an amateur golfer at the time, he sunk a lot of birdies. Attending the Celebrity Invitational last year gave Hillary a deeper understanding of why Wyatt was drawn to HOPE. “Hearing the veterans’ stories gave me a different perspective,” she reflects.
Meeting retired Sergeant Major Kevin Bittenbender further reinforced Hope For The Warriors’ impact on individuals and the veteran community. Witnessing the positive transformations and the profound effect on people’s lives gave Hillary chills. She emphasizes the significance of seeing the ripple effect of support within the veteran community.
Hillary and Wyatt, married for four years, are committed to giving back, utilizing their shared passion for golf to support a cause close to their hearts. Hillary emphasizes the importance of aligning one’s passions with charitable efforts. “It gives people opportunities to give back while having fun,” she notes. For the couple, using golf as a medium to support a cause they deeply care about is meaningful and enjoyable.
At Hoosiers For Hope, Hillary’s involvement went beyond the ordinary. Last year, she assembled event bags, and this year, she reached out to local businesses for donations. Her efforts resulted in a remarkable collection of 20-30 gift cards/products, enhancing the event’s appeal and impact.
With a 2-and-a-half-year-old son named Myles, Hillary reflects on the significance of involving her family in these charitable endeavors. Witnessing Myles interact with veterans and volunteers at the event was heartwarming, emphasizing the importance of instilling a sense of community and giving back to the next generation.
Erin Thompson, Hope For The Warriors Mission Ambassador and Event Officer, nominated Hillary, and it was an easy decision. “Hillary’s proactive approach, including reaching out to numerous local companies for donations, truly exceeded expectations,” Erin said.
Describing Hillary as outgoing, friendly, a team player, and someone who always aims for the best for the organization, Erin’s insights further illuminate the outstanding qualities that make Hillary a standout volunteer.
In celebrating Hillary as our Volunteer of the Month, we extend our deepest gratitude for her tireless efforts, unwavering commitment, and the positive impact she continues to make within our community. Hillary, you are a beacon of hope and an inspiration to us all. Thank you for embodying the spirit of service and making a difference in the lives of our veterans and their families.
Hillary’s story is a powerful reminder of what can happen when passion meets purpose. Her involvement with Hope For The Warriors showcases the importance of volunteers in supporting our military community. If her journey inspires you and you want to contribute your talents, skills, and desire to serve our nation’s heroes, consider connecting with Hope For The Warriors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here for more information!