Here at Food & Water Watch, success relies on building people power and demonstrating that power to hold elected officials accountable. Partnerships between staff and volunteers are integral to fighting and winning campaigns to protect our most valuable resources.
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, which offers our Colorado team the perfect opportunity to acknowledge a particularly active and enthusiastic volunteer, Suzann Thomas.
I have been working with Suzann since last fall and was inspired immediately by her dedication. She is a key member of our core group and her passion is evident based on her willingness to jump in and take on any task. Suzann brings a contagious optimism and zeal to her work that motivates us all. I was excited to have a chance to get to know Suzann a little better and ask her a few questions about why she gives her time to Food & Water Watch.
Ari: Where are you from?
Suzann: I’m originally from Austin, Texas, but I’ve been in Denver since 1989.
A: What is your career background?
S: I worked as a hearing officer in the disability field for many years. Currently I am semi-retired and work as a spiritual guidance counselor for Mile High Church.
A: How long have you been an activist?
A: What types of issues have you worked on?
S: I’ve worked on opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline, banning fracking, labeling GMOs, and stopping antibiotic resistance.
A: How did you get involved with Food & Water Watch?
S: I went to a movie screening of “Dear Governor Hickenlooper” [a documentary on fracking in Colorado that calls on Governor John Hickenlooper to ban it] and spoke to [Food & Water Watch Western Region Director] Sam Schabacker while I was there. At the time, Food & Water Watch was working on keeping fracking out of Loveland, so I told him I’d be happy to help out. I’ve been volunteering ever since!
A: Why do you volunteer with Food & Water Watch?
S: I am an earth steward and it’s close to my heart to preserve this planet and every aspect of it. I think the work Food & Water Watch does is so important and that more people should be paying attention to the issues you work on. I’m at a stage in my life where I am able to focus on these topics that I am so passionate about, so that’s where I choose to put my time.
A: What do you do for fun?
S: I love scuba diving, creative reading and writing.
A: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
S: Swam with whale sharks in Isla Holbox [in Mexico]!
A: What makes you ‘tick’?
S: Reading, writing, the oceans, live music, and being around people.
A: What are you most passionate about?
S: The protection of species on this planet and the oceans; I have two young grandchildren, and I want them to be able to enjoy this earth and our oceans the way that I have.
We are so grateful for volunteers like Suzann, who work side-by-side with the Food & Water Watch staff in the fight to defend our essential resources.
It’s passion for the planet that drives Suzann to volunteer with Food & Water Watch. If you have a passion to protect the safety, accessibility and sustainability of food and water, we want to hear from you. Sign up to volunteer and join the fight for a more just and sustainable future!
Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month to all the dedicated people who share their time, energy, skills and passion with Food & Water Watch each day.
Ari Moledina has been an intern with Food & Water Watch in Denver since October 2014; she has worked on GMO labeling, antibiotic resistance, and fracking campaigns.