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Voluncheer: Amber Martin—Raising Five Kids With No Time to Spare

Volunteering has become a natural part of family life, and this Rancho Santa Margarita mom didn't want her kids to grow up spoiled or feeling entitled.

Amber Martin is a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita, a business owner and is involved in giving back to the community. The Bell Tower Foundation asked her to share a little about herself with the community.

What organizations do you volunteer for? 

Acts of Appreciation, Operation Help A Hero, Operation Homefront, Angel Tree, Fountain Valley Police Department (Explorer program), Boys Town, Operation Christmas Child and weekly visits with the elderly at a convalescent home.

How has volunteering enriched your life? 

Volunteering has given me natural opportunities to teach my kids about needs in the community and around the world.

What should others know about volunteering?

Not only does it fulfill a valuable need in society, it’s also a great mood booster and it provides opportunities for parents to teach their children that life isn’t all about them.  

What do you do when you're not volunteering? 

Mother of five young children (ages 2-9), wife and owner of Martin Investment Properties, Inc., a real estate brokerage which does sales and residential property management.

What do you love most about your community?

I love that my community and city is very family friendly, beautiful, scenic, clean and safe. I also love all of the community events that help create that small town feeling and helps promote volunteerism.

What does "community" mean to you?

Being tightly connected with people who share common goals and beliefs.  

What do you want to say to those thinking about how they can get involved in their community?

There are a lot of things that you can do which don’t require a large investment of your time. Even a 30 minute block of time can be put to good use.

Share a brief story about volunteering.

Volunteering and charity work is such a natural part of my family's lives that recently we saw a woman with her young child asking for a hand out. While I am hesitant about giving cash I do carry restaurant gift cards in my wallet in case we come across someone in need. My girls happened to spot this woman in need and they started arguing about who would get to run over and give this woman this food gift card. I love that my kids know that if you see someone in need, you don’t ask questions you just do something. They aren’t afraid to act and get involved.

What organizations do you know that have volunteer opportunities coming up?

Operation Help A Hero, Angel Tree, Acts of Appreciation

How have you benefitted from someone else volunteering in your community?

It’s given me more ideas of ways that I can get involved.

Tell us about someone who has inspired you by their generous gift of volunteering?

Most recently it was our good friend Nick Jordan who is the President of Wells of Life, which helps to build water wells in Uganda. He told my husband and I about the amazing work that they are doing and that challenged us to think globally. We decided as a family to raise funds to build a well and we recently accomplished our fundraising goal. We are so excited to one day take our children on a trip to visit our family well in a village in Uganda.  

What incident made you realize that volunteering was worthwhile?

While I have volunteered from a very young age, it was the birth of my children that inspired me to be a role model for volunteering. My husband and I didn’t want our children to grow up with a spoiled and entitled attitude. We wanted them to realize how blessed they are to be living in such a wonderful city and country. By starting our kids volunteering at an early age it will hopefully become a natural part of their lives. They have helped out with Angel Tree, Operation Help A Hero, and at The Bell Tower Foundation booth during a few concerts in the park.

What was the defining moment in your journey as a volunteer?

Last year we invited friends to help us out at Saddleback Church with their Angel Tree program. Little did we know that these friends had been craving an opportunity and invitation to do volunteer work as a family. And it just so happened that Angel Tree had a significant meaning in the childhood of one of these friends. It was perfect!

The Bell Tower Foundation is a Volunteer Connection Hub bringing people and organizations together through volunteer opportunities. It believes that volunteerism enriches the lives of everyone—those who give and receive. Connect with The Bell Tower Foundation on Facebook at facebook.com/TheBellTowerFoundation or on its website at belltowerfoundation.org

Lawrence (Larry) McCook September 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Amber Martin! What A Voluncheer! Every volunteer effort she participates in is for a most worthwhile cause! Hats Off To Amber!

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