As Volunteer Appreciation Month draws to a close, we are delighted to close our month-long volunteer series with this profile on Kate Johnson, chair of this year’s Young Professionals Empty Glasses event.
A fourth-generation Californian, Kate grew up in Sacramento and attended Claremont McKenna College, concentrating on Government and Economics. Her graduate studies took her to Muscat, Oman, to attend the School for International Training where she focused on economic development in the Gulf. She is currently Chief of Staff at Trim, a San Francisco-based company that helps people analyze their spending patterns so they can cut costs. In addition to volunteering with local organizations like CSA, Kate kayaks, trail runs, hikes, backpacks, and backcountry skis.
How did you come to be involved with CSA and the Young Professionals group?
After moving to Mountain View in 2019, I started looking at local nonprofits where I could make a difference through volunteerism and get to know the community better in the process. I reached out to LaDrea Clark, CSA’s Volunteer Coordinator, who told me about the Young Professionals group. The Holiday Sharing Program was one of the first YP activities in which I participated and I was also part of the planning committee for last year’s Empty Glasses virtual event, which raised over $9,000 for homeless services.
My personal goal is to inspire more people in my age group to start investing their time and resources in their local communities. COVID was a wake-up call that the baton for community service has been passed to our generation. Many CSA supporters were not able to volunteer during the pandemic because of their vulnerability to the virus. It was up to millennials like me – working from home with a flexible schedule – to fill in whenever we could.
Can you tell us a little bit about this year’s Empty Glasses event?
We are starting to plan this year’s event and looking at different ways to make it fun and unique. Since we are just emerging from the pandemic and don’t know what the health restrictions will be in August, when we are likely to hold the event, we are exploring all options. It is possible that we will do a hybrid event – a Zoom tasting event followed by small live gatherings – and who knows, maybe the Empty Glasses will be filled with great beer this year!
What advice do you have for individuals in your age bracket who may be interested in volunteering with CSA and/or taking an active role in our Young Professionals group?
Join us! This group is a great way to contribute to the community and meet others with similar interests and values, especially if you are new to the area.
Overall, I have been very impressed with CSA, its holistic approach toward the people it serves and its flexibility in responding to client needs during this health crisis. You can’t ask for a more compelling mission and warm, welcoming people to work with. I’ve found my volunteering at CSA to be very gratifying.