Thank You, Teresa Clark!

“A truly great volunteer is hard to find, difficult to part with, and impossible to forget!” — Unknown

Now that your time with us has come to an end, all of us at Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County want to express our warmest gratitude for all of your efforts and hard work in volunteering at Britepaths.

You have given 13 years to our organization and Northern Virginia families, starting when we were still known as Our Daily Bread. You have worked sincerely. Your dedication to your work cannot be denied, and we truly appreciate your work as a Financial Assistance Service Team Volunteer.

Teresa Shares Her Journey with Britepaths

“In 2009, after my daughters had graduated from college and found jobs, I had more time on my hands and thought I would like a volunteer job with flexibility and could work from home. It would fit in nicely as I was still working as the bookkeeper for my husband’s company. I looked up Fairfax County Volunteer opportunities and saw Our Daily Bread listed. Seeing the Financial Assistance Services Team (FAST) position — I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I called [former Financial Programs Manager] Lisa Kazden to ask questions and be interviewed. The FAST Team works with people in crisis needing help with rent, utilities or other emergencies for one time funds.

“At the time, the areas served by Our Daily Bread were all the zip codes in Fairfax County except the Route 1 corridor. All work was done by our home telephones. There were many churches and charities that would provide funds or services to our program and would sometimes call us for help if they had requests and were short on funds. We would manually fill out a rather long info sheet on each person needing assistance. I enjoyed speaking with so many dedicated volunteers and Coordinated Services Planning workers (CSP). It was very satisfying to help someone in need. Talking on the phone was a big part of the program until we began to go online around 2012. Computers sped up our ability to help even more people.

“In 2016, Our Daily Bread became Britepaths. The name changed, but the FAST team remained the same and continued to take regular shifts answering requests for financial assistance from CSP, approving requests based on the amount of available funds for the day, and then passed those requests to our Financial Programs Manager [currently Diana Ortega] to see that the requests were paid by check to the organization in which families need assistance with. Especially during the pandemic, it has been gratifying to help many, many people. 

“Our ‘team’ over the years has been five volunteers for the five days of the week. Over 13 years, I have been on a lot of teams! We don’t see each other very often, but everyone has always been very flexible in exchanging days and supporting each other. Lately, we have celebrated the large increase in funds to help even more affected by Covid’s devastating effects on livelihoods and health.  

“Now, it’s 2022, my husband and I are retiring, and our daughters are having grandchildren in Colorado. Having lived in London for 5 years, we now want to also visit English friends and the UK again. 

“I have enjoyed my time working for Britepaths and meeting lots of nice people on the phone, email, and the times I have gone into the office for parties and training sessions. I hope Britepaths will continue to be able to fund the many programs that support our community. It is a great organization with caring hearts.”

Thank you, Teresa, and best wishes on your next adventure!