Volunteer Spotlight: Taylor Marshall

In the run up to Christmas, the Catholic Charities East Bay’s development team worked long hours to make sure our Joy Bells program, which delivers holiday presents to some of our neediest families, was a success.

Joining staff were volunteers, including students from Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland and St. Mary’s College High School in Albany.  Taylor Marshall, a senior at St. Mary’s, was among them, helping staff organize the gift database, wrapping presents and distributing them to families at our Richmond Service Center. But this was not a one-off for Taylor, who has been volunteering for Catholic Charities for over a year.

In her time at our agency, she has helped pass out food at our monthly food distribution event, held on the second Tuesday of every month, wrapped presents at Christmas, assisted in managing our database, and sometimes just given the millennial perspective on how to better connect with younger community members.

“Volunteering is a value that has been inculcated in me by my parents,” says Taylor, who is headed to Pitzer College this fall. “I truly love it, especially when I get to connect with people. It never feels like a chore.”

Taylor has been volunteering in her community since the fifth grade. She’s also active in Jack and Jill of America, a national organization that works to promote Black leadership and cultural empowerment through educational and charitable projects.

What drew the teen was a desire to connect deeper to her community, beyond the one at her school.

“Sometimes we are focused on the wrong things when there are so many people who are suffering around us,” she says. “My goal is to do something helpful every day.”