Celebrating PEPS Volunteers – Jill Farbarik Awarded Unsung Hero from Strengthening Families Washington

April is Volunteer Appreciation month, and PEPS is proud to share news about a great PEPS leader.

Jill Farbarik, one of our Spirit of PEPS award winners, was selected to receive an Unsung Hero award from Strengthening Families Washington at the Washington State Department of Early Learning.

Jill was recognized with 2013 Spirit of PEPS Award for her leadership in PEPS Groups and introducing new parents to PEPS in While You’re Waiting information sessions. As a group facilitator, she exemplifies the competencies and qualities essential to the role. As a trained volunteer, Jill has done an amazing job handling emotionally charged situations, maintaining confidentiality, sharing knowledge of parenting best practices, actively listening and creating a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere among new parents.

Jill’s evaluations have consistently come back with some of the highest scores we have seen. The comments from parents were lengthy, positive, heartwarming, and spoke to her advanced community-building skills.

Jill is a math specialist and teacher at West Woodland Elementary, and builds community everywhere she goes, including creating mother-daughter groups in the larger community. In early 2014 she lost her husband, Ray, in a skiing accident. Since then, as the now-single mom of two young girls, she’s shown an astonishing capacity to grapple with her vastly-altered life, accessing local grief support groups for herself and the girls, and demonstrating resilience, caring, humor and strength in countless ways, large and small. It hasn’t been lost on those of us who know her that the way she has relied on and engaged her own community in the toughest of tough times has benefited us all.

“What I find admirable about Jill is that she has done an amazing job of accessing support for herself and the girls after Ray died – she’s been very proactively putting stuff out there (on Facebook, etc.) about what she needs and doesn’t need, what would be helpful, and in just sharing things from the inside of her head that have been of great benefit to her friends and community,” says PEPS Volunteer Manager Cate Palmer.

We are so fortunate to have leaders like Jill supporting parents in our community. Thank you, Jill, for the great work you do! Congratulations for the recognition and the Unsung Hero Award.

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