Volunteer Spotlight: Fran Badgett

Volunteers make a world of difference!

The mission of Resource Center could not be achieved without our volunteers. The talents, skills, time and energy donated by our volunteers are a valued resource.

Each year, more than 1,200 dedicated volunteers help the Center serve the LGBTQ and HIV communities in North Texas. Volunteers donate their timer by serving hot meals, answering telephones, stocking shelves, and helping at fundraising events.

We asked Fran Badgett, a longtime supporter and current Board member of the Center to tell us about his experience volunteering.

Fran, tell us why you chose to volunteer for the Center?

“I chose to volunteer at Resource Center in a somewhat unconventional way…I was approached to join the Board of Directors in 2017, and was introduced to the full breadth of what the Center offered—I was familiar with Nelson-Tebedo, and certainly aware of the Food Pantry and Hot Meals programs, but the scope of programs and services beyond those was astonishing. When the Community Programs Manager at the time, Cami Fields, asked if I’d be interested in volunteering with the Youth First program, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough. Youth First operates the sort of space that I wished for my entire adolescence, one that offers support, validation, and community to youth across the LGBTQIA spectrum, and I love being a part of it.”

What has motivated you to volunteer during a pandemic?

“COVID-19 took our in-person Youth First programming online, along with everything else— I’m currently a full-time student, and I think I’m not alone in feeling a little bit unmoored spending so many hours a day communicating through a screen. My friend Sheryl Lanzel reached out in October of last year to see if I wanted to come to work an in-real-life volunteer shift at the food pantry with her, and now they can’t get rid of me! I have been extremely fortunate during the tumult of the past year to remain healthy and financially stable when so many have not, and in some small part, I feel that even the simple acts of greeting clients and loading groceries into their cars allow me to pay that forward a little, and maintain some of that feeling of connectedness that grew so scarce when the pandemic hit. It’s also a pretty decent workout.”

What advice would you give someone who is considering volunteering for Resource Center?

“My advice to anyone thinking about volunteering is to do it! There are so many avenues at Resource Center alone where you can lend your talents at a level that you feel comfortable with, and it is impossible to interact with the clients, staff, and volunteers without feeling a little more hopeful at the end of the day.”

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