Volunteering comes easy to 17-year-old Jayme Chow of Newport Coast. The Corona del Mar High School senior is president of Helping Hands, a campus-based service club that identifies needs locally, as well as in distant places. Most recently, Jayme and the members of Helping Hands raised funds to prepare 30 “newborn necessities” gift bags for clients of MOMS Orange County. The gift bags contained such items as baby wash, face towels, wipes, baby supplies and toys.
Since its founding in 2010 by her older sister, Jessica, Helping Hands has spearheaded numerous projects including collecting new toothbrushes and toiletries for the clients of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, stuffing backpacks with goods for impoverished school children, collecting reusable ACT and SAT prep books for inner-city high schoolers, and selling cookies to raise funds for a school staff member. The group is currently updating the Newport Coast Elementary School library. “We try and find practical ways to make a difference,” says Jayme.
Volunteering has become a family tradition since the Chow sisters were young, explains mom Lily Chow, an attorney. In 2006, Mrs. Chow was named one of OC Metro’s “20 Women to Watch” along with Pamela Pimentel, RN, CEO of MOMS Orange County. Each year since then, the Chow Family has adopted a MOMS Orange County family during the holidays. They purchase toys, clothes and other gifts for every member of a family identified by a MOMS’ Maternal-Child Health Coordinator. “All of the Chow Family’s efforts truly help our client families in practical, yet special ways,” says Mrs. Pimentel. “We really appreciate them.”
Jayme’s motivation for volunteering comes from the simple satisfaction it brings, says her mother. “There is no pressure to do it because she already met her graduation requirement for community service the summer before her freshman year. She does it because she enjoys it.”