Category: Volunteer Spotlight

Thanks to Renee Paul

Thanks to Renee Paul!!

Renee has been an incredible volunteer at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County! She is always willing to help, has a positive attitude, and loves to learn. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience her growth as a community outreach representative.

When we set up our table to promote the Foodbank in the community the first time, Renee was shy and reserved. After watching my presentation once, Renee mustered up the courage and started talking to people herself! Soon enough, she was the one engaging everyone who walked by! After that first “training session,” Renee built up the confidence to man the booth herself and has been doing so ever since! This is extremely helpful for the Foodbank!

Having multiple successful community outreach representatives enables the Foodbank to educate more people about what we do and get more people excited to get involved. I believe in capitalizing upon people’s strengths, but sometimes people do not realize what their strengths are until they step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. I’m extremely proud of Renee’s accomplishments and it is such an honor to be a mentor in her life.


Thanks to Thomas Kaufmann

Thanks to Thomas Kaufmann!!

I met Thomas when I was staffing a booth for the Foodbank at a community event. He was very excited to get involved with the Foodbank and expressed an interest in teaching children how to cook. Thomas has volunteered to help with our Turkey Drive, staffing our booth at community events, creating flyers to promote our cause, and providing his entrepreneurship and marketing mentorship expertise to the Foodbank.

From getting to know Thomas, I’ve discovered that he is quite the entrepreneur and is passionate about helping people. Thomas is Founder and CEO ofOtojoy, a wireless hearing loop system that enhances the sounds people want to hear and filters out the sounds people don’t want to hear.

Thomas also provides business development leadership and mentorship in a number of start-up groups and competitions. His team recently launched a start-up venture called Omza in 54 hours at Start-Up Weekend Santa Barbara! Omza is a mobile phone application that allows yoga instructors the ability simplify the scheduling process and list all classes they teach in one place.

Thomas is the only person I know who can operate multiple businesses and provide mentorship in several start-up ventures while simultaneously engaging in a variety of extra-curricular activities AND he still takes the time to help me and the Foodbank!