A woman of many talents

There are many ways to show you care about loved ones. With family and close friends, you know what it takes to make each person happy. Maybe you make a favorite meal for a special occasion. Or you know which birthday card to buy that will make someone really laugh. Perhaps you have a sense of when someone you care about needs a phone call to cheer them up. 

But how do you let strangers know that you care and support them during their deepest time of need?  

Ann Corbin, resident of Redwood City and Tim Griffith Foundation volunteer since 2005, shows her love and compassion by sharing her many talents with the Foundation. She is a cook, caterer, project manager, gift basket hostess, bookkeeper, overall utility player volunteer and handles event logistics! 

These are just some of the roles Ann has played over the years and why she was awarded the Nancy Harris “Volunteer of the Year” distinction in 2013.

One weekend every November you have to shuffle through dozens of beautiful baskets scattered around Ann’s dining and living room to find her. She opens her home to host a group of well-orchestrated volunteers as they artistically arrange themed gift items, wrap baskets, attach bows and prepare 60+ gift baskets for the Tim Griffith Foundation's Annual Gala.

Ann Corbin, second from left, generously opens her home each year to host Basket Day.

It’s officially Basket Day and Ann has been running Basket Day for years. Ann says that, “it’s a blast and working with everyone is a hoot.”

Ann began volunteering for the Tim Griffith Foundation in 2005, a year after its founding, and is proud to be a part of it. When she first started, she only knew one person – our Board Member and Volunteer Coordinator Lisa Perry. Over the years she’s made many new friends at the Foundation and feels she will always be involved in some way as it is her way of showing love.

Along with her deep involvement in Basket Day and the Gala, Ann has been an integral part of Meadowlark Retreats. Detail focused and organized, Ann’s behind the scenes work and strong mix of skills has helped many Meadowlark Retreats run smoothly.

The Retreats provide an opportunity for grieving parents to find “comfort, support, compassion and shared wisdom.” Ann can frequently be found in the kitchen preparing meals or taking the time to listen to the moms. They will tell you that her gentle sense of humor helps lighten even the darkest of moments. 

These days social distancing is hard on everyone. For the first time in a long time Ann isn’t shopping for basket supplies or gearing up for the next retreat. If you ask her about it, her concern is for the people the Tim Griffith Foundation helps.

She says, the “Pandemic has been hard. Young people are still dying. What is happening to the mothers and fathers who are grieving? Our last retreat was in February.” She is ready to get back to work helping those who need it with the people who mean a lot to her.

Ann encourages anyone with an interest or talent, to volunteer and promises you will have a great time doing it.

“Volunteers are happy with us. We have fun and when people get involved, they stay with us for a long time.”  

Thank you for everything you do Ann!

Written by Julie Gayner.

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