Fil Folden began volunteering for Rainbows when her family moved Wichita from Ohio. “I believe that children are the future of the world, so anything I and my family can do to help children, in every possible way, is very important to us,” she said. Currently, Fil’s volunteer role varies from visit to visit. She helps however and whenever is needed. She has assisted Rainbows’ staff with mailings, special event preparation, data entry, button-making, and much more. Her favorite story from her time spent at Rainbows thus far was when she was in the facility during a fire drill. “I had never really thought about it even when my children were young, so that was a learning experience!” she said. “Rainbows parents should know their children were very well taken care of. Everyone came in and took babies and toddlers. It was very impressive and well done.”
Fil first heard about the organization through Michelle Eastman, Rainbows’ VP of Marketing and Development. “We moved to Wichita from Columbus, Ohio and Michelle and her family were the first people we met,” Fil shared. Though she is fairly new to Wichita and to Rainbows, she is a veteran volunteer. “I have been volunteering for a long time, since my teens,” she said. Through her numerous volunteer experiences, Fil has seen and learned a lot. “My most challenging volunteer job was at a safe home for abused women and children. You realize how blessed you are when you work in such a place. You also realize how fragile and strong the human spirit can be.”
Fil recognizes the importance of volunteerism and would recommend it to everyone. “Volunteering is a good way to help others and at the same time learn something new. For example, I learned how to make lapel buttons recently.” Her family is looking for more ways to get involved as they learn more about the Wichita community. “We would love to volunteer at a food pantry or a soup kitchen, so hopefully the summer will help us get more familiar with the Wichita area.”
Fil loves her family and the different backgrounds they share. “We are a multicultural, multiracial family,” she said. “My husband, Steve, is from Ohio, I am from Portugal and our three daughters are of Chinese decent. We enjoy our diverse family and celebrating all our different traditions from the 4th of July, All Saints Day to Lunar New Year.” She enjoys any time that they can spend together. “As a family we love to travel around the US and overseas, read, play games and watch movies.”
Prior to having children, Fil worked as an interpreter and translator doing work in movies, speeches, and interviews. After moving to the U.S. she tried her hand at several different occupations before deciding to stay home with her children. “I worked as a project manager on military construction, IT, liaison officer, and volunteer. I quit working prior to our oldest daughter coming home, and I have enjoyed being home for my daughters through the years,” she shared. When she finds spare time from her regular routine, Fil enjoys buying books and would love to learn photography someday.