Symone Watts is the Engagement Coordinator at Share our Spare, as well as a 2019 graduate of New Moms. Symone coordinates volunteers and donations, and she’s also a one-woman administrative support and social media team. She was leading a cohort of participants from New Moms Job Training program who were out on a field visit to sort clothes when we caught up with her.
Coordinating volunteers is something that she does regularly, and she loves being able to help others serve the community of young families in Chicago. Symone is focused on her job and enjoys how it allows her to help families like her own each day.
Because her story has been shaped by mentors she met at New Moms, she was eager to offer advice to the current participants who would someday secure jobs like she had. It was meaningful for the participants to learn about Symone’s story and serve alongside her in her current workplace where she is touching the lives of individuals with similar stories. Because of Symone’s history as a participant, the cohort was able to connect with her and see her professional success as something that was attainable in their own lives.
She is grateful to her family support specialist, Ashlee, as well as everyone else at New Moms who helped her to get to where she is today.
She likes to work with people who shop at Share Our Spare because she once found herself in their position of having the responsibilities of caring for a newborn but lacking adequate resources. As a graduate of New Moms, she wants people to know that receiving help is not a bad thing, and encourages others that they don’t need to do it by themselves.
Share our Spare is happy to help families or social service agencies in need of resources. You can find more information about their services and how to get them on their website.
At Share Our Spare, Symone has helped the organization expand its reach on social media and train her colleagues on savvy social media usage, despite not having a communications degree. She wants to go back to school because she has discovered a hidden talent in communications and pursue opportunities that a college degree will give her.
Her former family support specialist was proud that she was putting herself out there, given that she used to be more hesitant in putting herself out there for other opportunities in the past.
For now, she is taking care of her son and taking classes at community college.
The mission of Share Our Spare is something that inspires Symone to keep serving in the community. Share Our Spare is a nonprofit organization in Chicago focused on collecting and distributing baby and kids’ items to families and organizations in need. It was started in 2011 by two moms with a lot of leftover stuff after their kids grew up. They wanted to create their own organization that catered specifically to families with new babies and young kids because of the huge need for an organization like Share Our Spare in the community.
Social service agencies as well as individuals in need can come and shop and fill a bag with clothes and resources that their kids will need for free. One of Symone’s favorite parts about Share our Spare is that each bag of clothes comes with a handwritten note card of encouragement.
New Moms participants wrote note cards with quotes that have been personally significant to them, such as “It always seems impossible until it’s done!” borrowed from Nelson Mandela.
Symone continues to help the community turn the extra into the extraordinary at Share our Spare and is grateful for the ways that New Moms has helped her get to where she is today.
Posted on August 28, 2019
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