California State University student Marianne Tran-Nguyen’s schedule keeps her pretty busy. In addition to her classes, she works at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. With the little time she has left she volunteers at various charities, including the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund.
Her interest in helping firefighters comes from her time working at Fire Officer Training at Santa Ana College. “I saw how much the fire guys sacrifice and give so much of themselves to others,” she said. “I wanted to give back to the men and women in the fire service by volunteering to help their family and loved ones.”
And she admires the vast skill set and talents required by firefighters. “To be a firefighter you have to possess all the chemistry of a Spartan, Batman, and a Puma,” she said. “They’re just incredible.
When it came to choosing an organization to which she should donate her time, Widows & Orphans’ achievements attracted her. She said, “[The charity] is an astounding organization because it unites the community and firefighters together to embody a buttress of security and dependability to the firefighter’s families.” She’s assisted at fundraising events for the organization since 2010.
Marianne has helped with the LAFD Invitational golf tournament and the recent El Coyote Café Firefighter Salsa Competition. She enjoys meeting firefighters and at a recent fundraising event one firefighter in particular had her in stitches. “He was a goofy fellow and he made my friend and I laugh a lot,” she said.
But, ultimately, working with other volunteers can’t be beat. She said, “My favorite part about volunteering is meeting other fabulous volunteers, having the opportunity to work with the amazing ladies in the office… and knowing the time I spend helping is for a worthy cause.”
If you’d like to volunteer like Marianne, you can do so online.