We are excited to introduce a new staff member to our team, Katie Thomson, who is coming on board as our Community Engagement Coordinator. As a way to get to know Katie a little better, we asked her a few questions about herself, her career, and her passion working to help children and families living in poverty.
CI: Tell us a little about your background.
KT: I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where I received both my BSW and MSW degrees.
“Giving children a sense of hope can lower stress and anxiety while increasing happiness, and to me that is priceless.”
After graduate school, I moved to London and worked with children and families for five years. My husband and I moved back to Richmond in 2014 so my daughter could grow up near my family.
In addition to my work with Children Incorporated, I work with Make Space, a mentoring program through the Visual Arts Center, which pairs women in the community with sixth-grade girls at Anna Julia Episcopal School in the East End. I really love working with sixth graders; they have such fun personalities and have so many opinions, which I think is fantastic.
CI: What made you want to get involved in social work so many years ago?
KT: I’ve always had a passion for helping people. It is probably the only passion that has consistently stayed with me throughout my life. Many of my family members work in helping professions like teaching, social work, and nursing, which influenced me to become a social worker.
I also like that social work isn’t one type of job; when people think of social work, they usually think it is placing children into foster care, but we do many different things and work in many different systems. We work directly with clients, but then also work on program design and implementation. There are social workers who are politicians, lawyers, epidemiologists, teachers, etc. There is such variety and potential that I’ll never be bored in this field!
CI: What really drew you to Children Incorporated’s mission?
KT: What drew me to the Children Incorporated mission was the idea of giving hope and opportunity to children. While no one individual can change the economic situation totally for these children’s families, we can help by providing children with basic necessities so they can go to school and not be worried about when the next meal will be or how they will get a new winter coat or shoes. Giving children a sense of hope can lower stress and anxiety while increasing happiness, and to me that is priceless.
CI: What about your professional experience makes you a good fit for Children Incorporated?
KT: I have worked in Richmond for many years and have built relationships with people throughout the city. I also enjoy meeting and connecting with people. I value the people and communities Children Incorporated works with, and I am excited to share their mission. I believe there is great opportunity for Children Incorporated to collaborate with Richmond people and businesses to support local children.
CI: What are your interests outside of helping children around the world?
KT: I like to spend time with my husband and our 10-year-old daughter. I say that I enjoy gardening, but I actually like to watch reality TV. I’m a bit of a collector, so I love to go to thrift stores and antique malls. I collect vintage glassware, especially Pyrex. I am also involved with Richmond For All, a local organization that focuses on racial and economic justice.
Welcome to the Children Incorporated team, Katie! We are so glad to have you with us.
How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?
You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.