by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Leading by Example

Shari Sanchez loves the 92130 community. “I enjoy living here for many reasons,” said Shari. “With near-perfect weather and year-round sunshine, it’s a great place to raise my daughter. We have the best beaches, amazing schools, and a real sense of community.”

volunteer2It’s the affection she feels for her community that motivated Shari to volunteer for some local organizations. “I became involved with Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks when my daughter began playing recreational soccer nine years ago,” recounted Shari. “I feel my biggest accomplishment was this past October when I was proud to be the lead on the Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks annual Sharks in the Park, an approximate 2,800-person event where the club provides a festival environment while teams are taking pictures and fundraising is being done.”

Her most recent volunteer efforts began last year when her daughter Sydney started middle school and Shari started lending her time to Carmel Valley Middle School. “Whenever help is needed at Carmel Valley Middle School I always make myself available,” stated Shari. “Selling PE clothes the first week of school or handing out info for red ribbon week.”

Group: Female Athlete Volunteers (FAV)
Mission: An organization founded by local female athletes that focuses on philanthropy and the support of a variety of local organizations.

Name: Shari Sanchez
Community: Carmel Valley
Volunteer Affiliation: DMCV Sharks, Female Athlete Volunteers, Carmel Valley Middle School
Family: Daughter – Sydney (13)
Hobbies: Being outdoors, watching sports (Go Cowboys!), being a mother to a teenage daughter, eating chocolate chip cookies
Favorite Local Spots: The Coffee Bean, Market Place Grille, Village Mill Bakery

volunteer1It was around this same time that Shari learned of another organization: Female Athlete Volunteers (FAV), a locally-based teen organization connecting female athletes with volunteer opportunities to support the community. “FAV was started by two young ladies from Carmel Valley and it has turned into a program of more than 100 girls from seventh grade through high school who do a variety of volunteering within San Diego and Carmel Valley,” described Shari. “Taking a car-load of seventh and eighth graders to play bingo with senior citizens or assembling and passing out over 700 burritos to homeless people downtown is very rewarding.”

This past spring, Shari was asked by FAV to do a fundraiser for a local teen with cystic fibrosis. “With the money we raised,” she explained, “this helped send this young lady on her wish of a European vacation.”

Volunteering is clearly a significant part of Shari’s life, but perhaps even more important is her wish to be a positive influence on her daughter. “I believe in giving back when I can,” shared Shari. “When my daughter sees me volunteering, she sees that I care. The importance of paying it forward is something I want her to understand.”