Volunteer Spotlight

April Volunteer of the Month

Keli Clark

My name is Keli Clark and I am a senior at Timberline High School. I am currently studying Elementary Education and plan to start my teaching career at the Kindergarten level. I started volunteering at Giraffe Laugh earlier this year and am now an ambassador. I have always wanted to get involved in my community but never fell in love with anything the way I did with Giraffe Laugh. Their mission resonates with me as a future educator and having the opportunity to see how I can change lives for children in the future is incredibly valuable. I have also seen first-hand how Giraffe Laugh has made a difference in the life of one of my closest friends. I can only hope to make a difference as big as Giraffe Laugh does in the lives of children.

At the Little Shoes Big Dreams tours, each month I read a story written by a teen mom whose life changed because of Giraffe Laugh. Reading her letter at each tour has made her story a part of my story. Because she was loved, educated, empowered, and prepared for her baby by the Giraffe Laugh staff (and their partners at the Salvation Army), she confidently held her baby when it was born without the fears she had felt before. I am inspired to be a better educator, caregiver, and parent someday because of Giraffe Laugh.


I have worked in childcare and have seen the difference in the level of care provided. Giraffe Laugh works with each individual child to help them learn and grow and to develop important skills which will influence the rest of their lives. Giraffe Laugh is passionate about helping all children, especially children whose families cannot afford quality care. They dedicate their time to helping families regardless of their situation. They are giving these children the love and tools to build amazing futures during the most important developmental years in their lives. I am passionate about Giraffe Laugh because Giraffe Laugh is exactly what this world needs. They are the example of what I strive for in my own future.


March Volunteer of the Month

Emily Solly

 I grew up in Boise and my family & I love Idaho – we have fun around town and getting up into the mountains to ski, camp, hike, and fish. I have two little girls, ages 3 and 6, and have been married for almost 12 years. I am a commercial lender at Mountain West Bank and have been with the company for the past 11 years. They have a great work-life balance culture and an emphasis on community involvement and that is where I first got the opportunity to give back.

I first learned about Giraffe Laugh as a Loan Executive with United Way; Lori Fascilla and I were giving a joint presentation and I was so moved by the great work they were doing. I thought that is something I want to be involved with! It resonated with me because of how important it is to set up young children for life by giving them a great foundation and because of all of the other amazing things they do to lift up everyone in the family. I could also relate; I had a hard time finding quality childcare that I felt comfortable with and could afford after I had my first child. This organization helps hard-working families give their children the best and I hope I can help with that.

I would love to see more kids in our community have the opportunity to start kindergarten both confident and prepared while also having felt the love, support, and nurture from their GL family. I want to see this organization continue to make our community better because they help entire families succeed.



February Volunteer of the Month



Marshall Baker


For over three years, Marshall has been delivering food from Idaho Food Bank to Giraffe Laugh. Tanya of Giraffe Laugh and our liaison for Idaho Food Bank says, “I can always count on Marshall to help, and he always

arrives with a smile for staff and our kids.” Over 50% of Giraffe Laugh families receive some sort of assistance from us, and many families count on our food pantries, located at each of our 4 centers. Filled with shelf stable items like peanut butter and canned goods, the pantries’ refrigerators are stocked with fresh vegetables, meats and baby formula.

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself: I am married to Kathleen Nagel for 49 years and have three children and six grandchildren. I enjoy traveling going to concerts, spoiling our grandkids and volunteering.
  • How did you become involved in Giraffe Laugh? Through Rotary Club Southwest, I started delivering goods and groceries to Giraffe Laugh.
  • Why do you like volunteering for us? Our community greatly benefits from the programs and services of Giraffe Laugh, and I enjoy being a part of that.
  • What’s your favorite activity with Giraffe Laugh? Becoming friendly with staff and seeing first-hand how they are ensuring school readiness for Boise’s youngest children.

Thanks for all you do, Marshall, and being our volunteer spotlight of the month!

December Volunteer of the Month

Patti Odlum

Giraffe Laugh is so lucky to have an awesome volunteer like Patti! While on a plane, a gentlemen told her about Giraffe Laugh. “When I was in Southern California, I worked for a non-profit very similar to Giraffe Laugh and loved what they did,” said Patti. Since May 2017 Patti has been volunteering weekly at our administration office assisting with a variety of projects. “Working with organizations that help children succeed is my passion,” said Patti. Thanks for all you do, Patti, and being our Volunteer of the Month!

About Patti: My husband and I moved to Boise 2 years ago from southern California. We love the outdoors and knew this would be the perfect place for retirement. I enjoy hiking in the foothills, walking and biking the Greenbelt, snowshoeing, travelling and taking my dog on walks.

How did you become involved in Giraffe Laugh and when? I heard about Giraffe Laugh from a gentleman I was sitting next to on an airplane. His wife just attended a Giraffe Laugh function. When I was in Southern California, I worked for a non-profit education company very similar to Giraffe Laugh and loved what they did. Since working with organizations that help children succeed is my passion, I checked into Giraffe Laugh and became a volunteer May, 2017.

Why do you to volunteer? I love helping people who are making a difference in the lives of children. I have been assisting with projects in the main office, so I have gained a better understanding of what Giraffe Laugh does, and how well it’s working.

What’s your favorite activity with Giraffe Laugh? I’ve enjoyed my time in the main office, assisting with projects and gaining a better understanding of what Giraffe Laugh does. I look forward to becoming a Rocking Grandma as soon as I can get my license.  I have attended a few functions and am very impressed with the excitement everyone shows for Giraffe Laugh.