Meet Linda, our Volunteer of Volunteers
Tabor Community Services, Inc. is a non-profit housing and financial counseling agency serving residents of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Tabor’s programs strive to prevent and respond to homelessness, counsel those struggling to manage their personal finances, and assist those who aspire to homeownership. Tabor serves over 4,600 Lancaster County residents annually.
Linda Fahnestock (on the left pictured with Loretta Hertzog at the Piano & Voices Concert at Highland Presbyterian Church) has volunteered for Tabor since she retired in 2003. For Tabor she volunteers an average of ten hours a month, but some months are busier than others. “It’s my beliefs that connect me with Tabor,” she explains. She belongs to the Ephrata Church of the Brethren, serving as chair of the deacon board which does a great deal of benevolent aid work. She coordinates events for the church and cooks and serves food at funerals held at the church. She also coordinates activities for the Ephrata community, and each election, she can be found manning the polls.
Volunteering as the Volunteer Coordinator for Tabor, Linda has proven to be a take charge and independent worker, entrusted with scheduling and supervising up to 12 volunteers for Tabor’s development department. Her band of volunteers has saved the organization thousands of dollars by preparing the bulk mailings of newsletters and annual appeals 16 times a year (totaling nearly 35,000 pieces) and helping with two banquets a year, putting in about 600 hours collectively for Tabor each year.
Tabor’s major banquet in the spring has been bringing an increasing number of guests and donations in the last several years. In 2016, 500 guests attended the banquet and Tabor received more than $60,000 in unrestricted donations and sponsorships. The banquet includes a silent auction which would not happen if not for the help Linda and her volunteers provide. Linda will pick up items for the auction and, with another volunteer, organize all the items before the banquet. The day of the banquet, Linda and her volunteers arrive several hours early to set up the registration tables, put signs and programs at the dinner tables and set up the silent auction. They stay after the banquet to tally the bids and settle up the winning purchases. Then Linda makes sure all the payments are secure and helps to pack up the remaining auction items. This auction, averaging 100 separate items, brings the organization about $4,000 in unrestricted funds each year.
Under Linda’s guidance, the volunteers also man tables at various fairs and exhibitions throughout the year, making sure Tabor is well represented in the community and freeing up Development staff for their ongoing duties. She and her volunteers help with fundraising events, being there at 5:30 in the morning, if need be, and prepare luncheons including getting the food together and washing the dishes.
Phyllis Stacks, Vice President for Development, sums up Linda’s volunteering attitude, “Linda will help in any needed capacity. She just says, ‘Where should I be and when do you need me!’”