Outside the classroom, Abbey Nadera is no stranger to the world of volunteering. She regularly donates her time to children’s charities like Reading Partners and The Help Group. So it should be no surprise she jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.

Since 2009, Nadera has offered her tireless dedication and infectious enthusiasm to the charity’s annual fundraisers such as Hope for Firefighters, the Lane Kemper Softball Classic and the LAFD Invitational golf tournament. Always happy to help wherever she’s needed, Abbey’s done everything from assisting photographers and editors with the organization’s magazine, Firemen’s Grapevine, to organizing check-in and taking picture orders at the special “Firefighter Photo Booth,” which helps raise donations at various events.

The photo booth at Hope for Firefighters is a special treat for this eager volunteer because of its high energy and non-stop shenanigans. “I want to say it’s so unpredictable, but at the same time, it’s not.” Abbey shares, “You really have to be in the booth in order to understand the craziness and fun we have in there.”

Hope for Firefighters isn’t the only event that keeps a smile on the educator’s face. The LAFD Invitational allows her to meet many of the firefighters face-to-face while sharing a laugh during those “unpredictable moments on the golf course.”

So what does this pre-school teacher do when she’s not giving back to the community or studying for her Masters degree in Human Development? Abbey likes to paint, travel and spend time with her family and friends.

Balancing school, work and multiple volunteer opportunities can’t be easy, but Abbey manages her time with an open heart and a positive attitude. “Yes, it’s difficult, but you find time because it’s fun.” Not many would choose the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund as the place to pursue that fun, but she feels differently: “It doesn’t feel like work…it’s always full of laughter.”

In the midst of all the laughter, she never loses sight of the charity’s higher purpose. Abbey reveals, “I don’t have a personal connection to firefighters, but I just feel that this is my way of being thankful and appreciative for the work that firefighters do.”

By Candace Nicholson