Meet Linda McSwain

Volunteer Spotlights
Which year did you begin your involvement with Making It Better?
In 2013 when I assisted in the Reading Intervention program with a Kindergarten group at Walnut Bend.
How did you get involved?
I’ve known Jacque Daughtry for years and worked with her in her capacity as PTO president at Westside HS when I was the student activities coordinator. Jerry Davis was a dean at Westside, so I’d heard about Making It Better through the grapevine.
When did you join the Making It Better Guild?
 I joined the Guild as an inaugural member in 2013.
What’s been your experience like as a Guild member?
Making It Better attracts a wide age range of women. It’s refreshing to see so many women interested in volunteering and passionate about child literacy. I’ve enjoyed working with the Guild to plan events and am impressed with the level of professionalism, knowledge, contacts, and enthusiasm that each member of the Guild brings to Making It Better.
What is the most rewarding thing about mentoring in the Lunch Bunch Program?
The 4th-grade boys that I mentor are so happy to see me every week. They may be a little wild, but they’re also excited about learning new lessons and participating in something that makes them feel special. Last week, they learned a new word: philanthropy. It was quite a mouthful to pronounce, and we spent a couple of minutes learning how to say it. Their final definition of philanthropy was that I help them to become better boys; they’re not the only ones who feel special!
How has Making It Better impacted your life?
It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that the few minutes I spend with the kids every week makes a small difference in their lives. Making It Better has also allowed me to make new friends, continue to volunteer, and to stay up to date on the status of our HISD schools.
What’s your favorite children’s book?
Now that you’re a grandmother, what hopes do you have for your granddaughter’s future?
I have a delightful 9-month old granddaughter, and my wish for her is that she grows up to be a happy, well-adjusted child with a great sense of humor and a positive attitude. For good measure, I’ll throw in a voracious reader, and a positive influence on those around her.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to read, travel, garden, and waste a lot of time on Words With Friends. My favorite past time is spending time with my family.
Why would you recommend others get involved with Making It Better??
There is a desperate need for mentors and volunteers to assist children who struggle every day to read. Making It Better has established programs with enough variety for volunteers to choose what they’re most comfortable doing, from going into schools to helping with events. The opportunity to use your skills to help others can be gratifying, and being a role model to your family has its rewards. Meeting new people is a bonus, not to mention the fabulous food and company at meetings. These children need positive influences in their lives; you have the opportunity to make a difference when you volunteer for Making It Better.