December 2015 Celebrating Volunteers Winner

Krista Arnold and Sarah Dodson

GFWC Bridgeport Junior Woman's Club

     As we continue our series of honoring the volunteers in our communities, we highlight two volunteers from the GFWC Bridgeport Junior Woman’s Club, Sarah Dodson and Krista Arnold.  The Bridgeport Woman’s Club is an organization within our community that supports a number of groups and individuals through financial and other initiatives.  You may have seen advertisements for the Nuru Bucket Walk or the Trick or Trot 5k.  They have also participated in toy drives, anti-bullying campaigns, set up penny auctions and scheduled Mommy and Me Tea fundraising events.  These women, along with the group’s members, have elevated the local chapter here in our area to one of the best in the state, if not this region of the country.    

     GFWC stands for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.  Bridgeport’s Junior chapter is a part of the international woman’s organization that is dedicated to the improvement of our community through volunteer services.  Their work to assist those in need has received accolades all across the state.  In fact, at the most recent GFWC West Virginia state convention, Sarah Dodson was honored as Junior of the Year for the State of West Virginia and the Bridgeport Junior Woman’s Club was recognized for their domestic violence and awareness program.  You can read more about their activities through their Facebook page.  The group shares their issues, events and even how one can join and participate.  Most recently, the club gathered a number of toys to provide presents for local children this past Christmas.     

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     “My life has been so blessed, that volunteering allows me to pay it forward, and being a part of the GFWC Bridgeport Juniors provides a unique opportunity to do so not only in the local community that I so love, but also, statewide, nationally and internationally,” said Arnold.  “As part of the Juniors, we get the opportunity to dabble in so many aspects of volunteerism and learn so much about the various needs for volunteers and funding for different individuals and organizations.”

     “I love the people that I have met by being involved in various organizations.  The GFWC Bridgeport Juniors is a group of hard-working ladies that love to see…no MAKE…great things happen,” stated Dodson.  “The reason that I volunteer my time is that it truly fills my heart to know that I am making a difference in another person’s life by giving of my time and energy.”

     “I am delighted to honor both Sarah and Krista.  I have watched them grow as leaders through the advancement of programs served by the woman’s club.”  Gretchen Ross of WBOY stated.  “These women have worked hard and dedicated their time to support and help develop our community.  They truly have made our area a better place to raise a family.”

     “Identifying volunteers to award through this program has allowed me to see and share the important work that these women and others do in our communities.  Their work creates an environment of hope and joy in the lives of those that they help.” Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group, stated.  “Sarah and Krista are building a foundation of volunteerism that will be shared for generations to come.”

    Sarah Dodson, grew up in Gilmer, graduating from the local high school and moving on to Shepherd University.  After a year working for the USDA, Sarah attended the University of Georgia where she obtained her MS in Medical Microbiology in the College of Veterinary Science and continued on to WVU where she earned her PhD in Microbiology, Cell Biology and Immunology.  After teaching at Fairmont State University, Sarah and her husband, Jeff, planted roots in Bridgeport to raise their two children, Sam and Nate. 

     Krista Arnold, grew up in Parkersburg, attended WVU and began her career as a Realtor in California before moving to Bridgeport with her husband, Zack.  Krista and Zack, Operations Manager for Northeast Natural Energy, have three children, Christian, Caroline and Juliana.  In addition to serving as co-President of the Bridgeport Juniors with Dodson, she and her husband also run a small 501c3 non-profit organization, the Elle Foundation.  The Elle Foundation was named after the daughter they lost to a Congenital Heart Defect.  Through that organization, thousands have been raised to provide family support and equipment for children with similar struggles.  

     We look forward to recognizing a number of worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight.  The program will continue recognizing volunteers throughout the coming year.  In order to nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please click here.

WBOY's Story on Sarah and Krista

For more information on GFWC Bridgeport Junior Woman’s Club, please visit their Facebook page at Facebook.com/bridgeportjuniors.