Volunteer Spotlight: Brisa Sifuentes
17th of April 2018
Brisa Sifuentes is a stay-at-home-mom of a 3-year-old son, León Hernandez and newborn daughter, “Baby Brisa” Hernandez. She and her husband, Mario Hernandez, were drawn to the city of Claremont by the “sense of community.” Now, a year after moving to Claremont, she is the steward of Claremont Little Free Library and runs the Instagram and Facebook account “ClaremontMom.” Her active involvement in the community led her to become a frequent volunteer at Children’s Foundation of America (CFA), from wrapping gifts at the holiday gift wrapping booth to making fringe blankets and positive cards for children in foster care.
Volunteering with CFA
Brisa said she continues to volunteer with CFA because the events are rewarding and fun. “I love that CFA events are simple yet impacting,” she said. “These kids are going to grow up and remember the time they got cool art supplies or a special handmade card.”
She has also enjoyed getting to know the CFA staff and other volunteers. “What stands out to me the most about volunteering with CFA are the employees. You know an organization is great when its employees love being there,” she said. “I’ve also enjoyed meeting the people who love to help whenever they can. You can’t help but want to keep going back to an organization that has such positive energy.”
Little Free Library
She and her family love to be surrounded by books and thought that Claremont would be the perfect setting for a Little Free Library, which is a neighborhood book exchange where people can take a book or leave a book. According to the official Little Free Library website, as of 2016, there are over 50,000 little libraries registered in the United States and over 70 countries around the world.
“After installing our library, we had a great response and there have been so many frequent visitors,” Brisa said. “We love sharing the joy of reading and seeing the influence it can have on our local children.” She has even hosted book drives through her Little Free Library, where she collected new books to donate to CFA.
Brisa is a very active mom in her local community. She participates in and plans activities with her local “babywearing” group, Kaiser mom groups and with friends and other moms. Around the time she opened the Claremont Little Free Library, she created the Instagram and Facebook account “ClaremontMom.”
“It’s essentially Claremont through the eyes of a local mom,” she said. “Being new to Claremont and hearing about all the great local events and groups, I felt like there needed to be a “one-stop-shop” for moms like me to hear about everything going on.” Her posts are gathered from other local Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as her groups and talking with people in the community.
Outside of volunteering, Brisa enjoys camping and hiking, taking her kids to the LA zoo and botanical gardens or watching the latest movie with her husband when they get a chance. She also enjoys gift wrapping and decorative crafts like flower-arranging and wreath-making.
“My motto is “create value,” she said. “I truly love creating something of value where it didn’t previously exist.”
Be the Difference
If you’re inspired by Brisa’s “Claremont Mom” story, join her in getting involved in the community and being the difference. Call 909.426.0773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to begin volunteering.
Marie Maghuyop, AmeriCorps VIP Fellow
Marie is serving with the Children’s Foundation of America as an AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Project) Fellow. Her main goal as a VIP Fellow is to expand the volunteer programs at the Foundation and develop an effective, sustainable volunteer infrastructure. She creates content for social media, engages with volunteers and supports the Foundation team with coordinating events and volunteer opportunities. Marie has earned two associate’s degrees from San Bernardino Valley College and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She has always been driven to do meaningful work by helping others and is excited to inspire volunteerism in the community. In her free time, she enjoys going to Disneyland, writing, playing ukulele and board games, and dancing.