WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Kristin Ball has played golf once in her life. Thus it is surprising that two years ago, serving on the committee for the charity golf tournament held by April’s Child helped steer the Yonkers resident toward a life-changing volunteer role.
Ball, the Vice President, Director of Human Resources for The Westchester Bank, now serves on the Board of Directors for April’s Child. Based in North White Plains, the non-profit organization seeks to significantly reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect in Westchester County.
While serving on the golf committee when April’s Child honored The Westchester Bank President and CEO John Tolomer, Ball formed a relationship with the charity and with Laura Schwartz, the executive director of April’s Child.
As the mother of young twins, Ball discovered a new appreciation for how many Westchester County families struggle with child rearing.
“April’s Child centers around the family and it touches your heart,’’ Ball said. “No one can prepare you for having kids until it happens. April’s Child gives families the tools to navigate working and parenting in the real world. It’s a lot harder than you think it is before you have children.”
The juggle between working and raising families is hard for many families, especially those that do not have family support.
“I have family support and I have a loving husband,’’ Ball said. “A lot of women and families that don’t have that. That’s what the center provides.”
As a member of the Board for April’s Child, Ball helps the organization determine its strategic direction and fund raising. “A lot of our financial support comes from outside activities and outside donors,’’ Ball said. “There’s a large waiting list to help these families. Fundraising is so hard because there are so many worthy charities. Every cause is a good one.”
Ball has also served on the Committee for the March of Dimes March for Babies Walk in Westchester. Her husband, Martin, served as the chairman for the March for Babies last month in White Plains. The Balls were directly affected by premature birth when their twins, Martin and Charlotte, were born weeks early. . The twins, who are now 4 and a half, spent time in a neonatal intensive care unit before coming home from the hospital.
Ball also organizes the Bank’s Pajama and Book Drive in the fall, which collects pajamas and books for children in the region. She also speaks to an employment group at the Sisters of Divine Compassion RDC Center several times each year on interviewing skills.
Ball’s volunteerism demonstrates the culture of the Bank, where employees regularly support a variety of organizations.
“It’s nice when we get everybody out in a more social setting,’’ Ball said. “You get to know people in a different way. It’s team building. It’s also about being part of the community. For us, it’s more than donating money. We’re part of the community where we live and work.”