February Volunteer of the Month: Stina del’Giudice

Stina-and-son-smallThanks to her career as a respiratory care practitioner for Neonatal ICU, Labor & Delivery at a Southern California hospital, Stina del’Giudice knows what it’s like to help people. And thanks to her son, she was inspired to help in other ways by volunteering with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.

She said, “I was looking for a charity to become involved with and I jumped at this chance. My son, Andrew Gocke, is an LAFD ‘family member’ as a firefighter at 29’s in Korea Town. That was the catalyst that gave me my home with [Widows & Orphans].”

For three years, Stina has given her time to help out at annual events such as Hope for Firefighters and the LAFD Invitational and at fundraisers like the El Coyote Firefighter Salsa Competition, all of which benefit the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund. And to each task, she brings her energetic and magnetic personality.

“I like to have fun no matter what it is,” she said. “Doing this gives life a new meaning and you can’t help but feel positive.”

Because of her son, she knew about the close-knit community that encompasses the firefighter family. But, until she volunteered, she had no idea just how welcoming that community really is. “Those that do not have family members in the department are a very energetic group who make everyone feel a part of the family from the first day.” She said. “This isn’t a job. It’s a privilege and we have a blast.”

No task, it seems, is too much for Stina. From making sure a silent auction runs smoothly to assisting a firefighter chef during the El Coyote Firefighter Salsa Competition, she handles anything that’s put in front of her. But, Stina does more than help out at events. She often comes to the charity office to make calls or organize items for auctions.Stina_2

She thinks everyone could benefit from donating their time to Widows & Orphans. “Not only is this a worthy cause, but you will make new friends and have the most fun doing it,” she said. “And best of all you will walk away feeling good about yourself for helping others.”

And just as Stina is proud of her firefighter son, we’re proud to have Stina on our team. At our next event, don’t be surprised if you see her warm smile, a smile that you can’t help return. She’s already signed up to volunteer at nearly every event in 2013.

If you’d like to volunteer like Stina, sign up online now.