Volunteer Profile: Tracy Dunham

by Megan Stacey

“There is always time to make time for things that are going to count for eternity – that’s how I think about it.”

Those wise words come from a new volunteer who was determined to fit Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia into her busy schedule.

And thank goodness she did.

Though Tracy Dunham is a recent addition to the organization, she’s managed to create a whole lot of amazing changes in just a few short months.

There’s the new website, plus a thriving social media presence.

And don’t forget the new-and-improved system to streamline online communications and storage for Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.

She’s a force.

But for Tracy, it’s all worth it.

“I’m spending and investing my time in something that, at the end of my life, I’m going to look back and be so glad that I was a part of it,” she said. “To see these lives change in such simple but dramatic ways – all the time, every day – is incredibly inspiring.”

She first got involved after a friend invited her to Gems & Java 2016.

Tracy Dunham, new Communications Team volunteer, at a fun photo shoot with her husband Rob, and three Ethiopian-born children.

Tracy Dunham, new Communications Team volunteer, at a fun photo shoot with her husband Rob, and three Ethiopian-born children.

Her friend figured it would be the perfect match, because Tracy and her husband adopted three children from Ethiopia.

Tracy left Gems & Java feeling inspired beyond measure.

“The surgeries, working with kids living on the street, the Girls Gotta Run (program), the WRAPS program, all of it, I was just amazed at what they had done in such a short amount of time,” Tracy said as she reflected on the event and the organization’s work.

“I was just so impressed. I just thought from beginning to end it was an incredible event.”

Her main goal as a digital communications volunteer is to enlighten others about all the inspiring work done by Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.

“I would love to use whatever I can, working with whoever we can, (so) that the message goes way, way more broad than it is right now. Because it’s just so worth sharing. That’s my big goal,” Tracy said.

And her work – her efforts to get the organization’s online presence into tip-top shape – is about a whole lot more than Twitter followers.

“The more money we raise, the more people's lives literally change,” she said.

At the end of the day, that’s what drives Tracy to give her time and her talents to Mothers with a Heart for Ethiopia.

“It’s funny, because you can look and say ‘I’m volunteering, and it’s costing me all this time, or it’s costing me this effort, or costing me those couple of hours I could be watching TV,’” Tracy said at one point during her interview.

That’s not the case for her at all.

“What I’ve found over the past few months I’ve gotten involved is that it actually gives you a global perspective. It gives you the sense that what you’re doing with your time and what you’re investing your time in is bigger than yourself.”