Q&A WITH PROFESSIONAL VOLUNTEER BARBARA J. BROWN

How does one become a professional volunteer – just ask Barbara Brown, involved with many organizations including the Toledo Opera Guild and Association, Toledo Symphony, Questers Antiquing, Toledo Animal Shelter, St. Elias Church and others. Her career, with the Washington Local Schools as a teacher for 38 years, had her teaching literature as well as acting as a school volunteer, tutor, and receiving the State of Ohio Teacher of the Year award and the Kenneth Bishop Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year for Washington Local Schools. She has also been honored by the Toledo Opera as an outstanding educator of the year. Her passion is giving back to the community – her strength is her ability to work in harmony with so many to do so much. What was your first job? Television repair shop assistant. What health or lifestyle tips do you support? Organic non GMO foods, locally grown, if possible. Embrace the moment. Help others when possible. Feel gratitude. Most memorable trip/trips? Returning to my father’s hometown in Indiana and seeing what I thought was Nirvana from an adult’s point of view. It taught me perspective. Biggest self-indulgence? Spoiling my grandchildren. I have always wanted to …? Scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef. What trait do you admire in others? Honesty Your pet peeve? Tunnel visioned people who refuse to explore all sides of a situation Something most people don’t know about you? I’m a Duke basketball fan and I love to ski. Words you live by? Polonius quote from Hamlet: “This above all, to thine own self be true, and therefore thou canst not be false with any man.” (sic) What was a defining moment in your life? The birth of my grandchildren. What advice would you give to the younger you? Collect more experiences and fewer tangible objects. Who is someone you’d like to meet? Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Khalil Gibran. What inspires you now? My Church, Opera, Symphony, Art, Ballet and my Grandchildren. Each brings joy into the world and beauty to Life.

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