Many thanks to our West Regional Co-Leaders Patty Karabatsos and Linda Dougall for their years of faithful service to DFW. Both are completing their terms and stepping down from their positions at the end of February. We are currently seeking volunteers to serve as our West Regional Leaders. For more information, please contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patty Karabatsos has served as a Regional Leader (RL) for seven years – a DFW record! Patty joined DFW nine years ago when a friend started the first chapter in San Jose, CA.
“The second year I was involved, I went to the national convention in Atlanta,” Patty said. “It got me very motivated, and I decided I wanted to get more involved.”
Patty became a mentor to local chapters before stepping into the role as leader for the West Region.
“The organization itself has been life changing for me,” she said. “Being involved in DFW has opened my eyes and changed my outlook. It’s made me so much more aware. It makes it easy to be involved and help women and girls with so little effort.”
Patty joined DFW trips to Peru and Kenya, which she said cemented her commitment to service. “That is really life changing,” she said. “After you’ve learned about those women and girls and you have the opportunity to meet them face-to-face, it’s a whole new level of understanding.”
Patty says she will stay on with DFW in some capacity, but is taking time now to focus on her family.
Linda Dougall has served as Co-Leader with Patty for the past three and a half years. She became involved with DFW because of an invitation from Patty’s sister. She was living in Ecuador when she first became a member, but traveled to Uganda with DFW in 2010, and several years later, she joined a DFW trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.
“When I moved back to the U.S., I started going to meetings regularly,” she said.
Soon, she signed on to serve alongside Patty. After years of hard work, she has earned more time for herself.
“I’ve met some amazing, absolutely fabulous women,” she said. “I’ve learned that you can go to a meeting almost anywhere and feel at home because we are so like-minded. I’ve gotten an education about the issues women and girls face around the world, and an opportunity to go and meet some of the people we’ve supported through our grantees – actually see them and give them a hug.”
Serving as RL filled an important role for Linda, even as she has given so much to members and chapter leaders.
“It has helped me regain my confidence,” she said. “I was a child welfare social worker until I retired when I was quite young. I had lost confidence in myself. Bit by bit, I got stronger. I loved the camaraderie. It’s just been absolutely fantastic.”