Shelby Barone is a mother of three, a freelance writer and co-creator of ocmomblog.com. With her busy schedule, Barone not only finds time to volunteer, she makes it a regular part of her family’s lifestyle.
Barone, an Aliso Viejo resident, has found organizations where her children can participate with her. “My children enjoy giving their time to the Orange County Rescue Mission because they can hold canned food and toy drives in our neighborhood before personally delivering items to the Rescue Mission,” she said.
The Ronald McDonald House is a special place for Barone, because her son was born premature and with a life-threatening illness. “The Ronald McDonald House served as a support to many of the women I knew in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] and while my son Tyler was being treated at CHOC [Children’s Hospital of Orange County].”
When she was 14, Barone started volunteering at the National Charity League in Laguna Beach. She said her mother, who has always been active in community service, inspired her to get involved. “She served as a role model for me,” said Barone, “and encouraged me to be a role model for my children, too.”
“It is important that I raise my children to understand that not all children living around us have the same blessings,” said Barone, “such as a warm bed at night and meals to eat.”
Barone said the most rewarding part of her volunteer work is being able to help improve the life of someone else. “Seeing my eight-year-old daughter go up to a homeless woman crying at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen and give her a hug was the most impactful moment of my time doing service work,” said Barone.