The Heart of a Volunteer: An Interview with Kathy Dore
Written by Brianna Canty
There is only so much one person can do with a dream. But when that dream is shared, it becomes a movement.
Girls Soccer Worldwide cannot do all we plan and want and hope without those who share our passion. To achieve our mission of empowering girls to rise out of poverty through sports, education, and leadership opportunities, we cannot do it alone.
We would not be where we are today, with the reach we have and the impact we’ve made, without all of you: those who have built the foundation of the non-profit from the very beginning; the Bay Area parents who trusted us and believed in our vision; the Ambassadors in both California and Paraguay who have committed whole-heartedly to change-making; and our dedicated and generous donors.
All that we do is through help—your help. Donors make a difference. We reach the people who need it, change lives and communities, because of our donors. You are what make the food kits and backpacks we deliver in Paraguay, our Grassroots Workshops in Livermore, and the scholarships for our Paraguay Ambassadors possible.
So, we decided to take some time to say two of the most important words: thank you. And specifically, we want to give a shout out to a very special donor who has helped us make a difference.
Meet Kathy Dore.
A Lifetime of Volunteering
Kathy’s life has been inextricably linked with service.
She comes from a military family; her grandfather attended West Point and served for 28 years, her father was in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, and both her brother and husband served in Vietnam. As early as three years old, Kathy remembers going door to door asking for donations with her mother. This commitment to helping others, of volunteering, followed her throughout her youth and adult life.
Later when she was a legal secretary in Silicon Valley, Kathy and a co-worker founded a volunteer committee that assisted with fundraising and sponsoring 8 projects a year. She ran this committee until she retired in 2014. In all, Kathy has over 50 years of volunteering, fundraising, and donating under her belt.
In October of 2022, Kathy was looking for her next project.
She’d recently moved to be closer to her daughter and her family, and wanted to find a volunteer opportunity in the Livermore area. “When Rebecca introduced me to Pamela,” Kathy said, “it was like click. I could see that this was going to be my opportunity.” After learning about Girls Soccer Worldwide and what they did, Kathy immediately started volunteering.
Why Girls Soccer Worldwide?
“The whole organization just touches my soul,” Kathy explained. She jumped in as a monthly donor, helped with fundraising events, and attended the Grassroots workshops. If there is an opportunity to give back with GSWW, Kathy is there.
With a robust history of volunteer work, it’s incredible to hear Kathy say that she’s never encountered an organization like GSWW and “has never been so moved” by a non-profit.
What makes GSWW unique for Kathy? “The depth [of impact] that [GSWW has] in the lives of the girls. To see the success of young girls, bringing them out of poverty and giving them visions for education and careers and something beyond what they’ve grown up with is amazing.”
The empowerment of young girls, the impact GSWW is making in their lives, is what lights a fire inside of Kathy.
“Volunteering is a big part of my history, a big part of my heart.”
Kathy was a Girl Scout Leader for 5 years in the San Jose area. She was surprised to find that girls in her troops had done nothing outside of their own backyard. With her co-leader, Kathy planned their year of activities around “expanding their horizons.” She sees and knows the value in this, recognizing the importance of it as she watched her daughter grow up and now watching it in the Grassroots Workshops. According to Kathy, expanding horizons “is my mission in life.”
This value is embodied in the weekly Livermore Grassroots Workshops. Kathy has gone to all but two—missing them only because of the weather. She is impressed by these events: “this is part of the process of imbuing these girls with a sense of worth and direction.” The Ambassadors who run the workshops are prepared and confident, and Kathy credits their maturity.
“You can tell that these girls are going to continue with the whole concept [of the Ambassador leadership program] into college and in their lives,” she said. Just a few weeks ago, Kathy attended the year-end Ambassador celebration and listened to presentations from each year group. “It was interesting to see what Year 1, 2, and 3 girls have accomplished and are in the process of doing.” Her passion was obvious as she described the focus areas for the three years: the Year 1 presenters shared things they had overcome personally in the process of learning about themselves; Year 2 described what they were starting to learn in the way of leadership skills; and Year 3 was very in depth and intense with their leadership discussion about the future.
“It makes me emotional to see the maturity level that these girls are learning early,” Kathy explained. “What GSWW is doing in Livermore and Paraguay is just amazing to me.”
Donors Make a Difference
When asked about what draws her to volunteering and donating, Kathy had a simple, yet powerful, answer. “The love of people,” she replied. “Seeing people succeed and do better, and spread their wings in communities,” is what it is all about. Kathy’s passion for giving back, for doing her part to raise up the next generation, is evident. She shares the same drive for service, the same desire to empower young women, that pushed Pamela and Walter to start GSWW.
Over the last 8 months, Kathy has become an important member of our GSWW family. We are able to do what we do only because of our donors, donors like Kathy Dore. Kathy shows up in all the ways that matter—every Friday at our Grassroots Workshops, at our Ambassador events, and at our fundraisers.
Well, she said it best: “I have the heart of a volunteer.”
Girls Soccer Worldwide!