By Pat Kumpan
Valley Elementary School’s Homework Club is beginning its 11th year, four of which have been with Itziar Haumschilt overseeing the program.
Most of the kids and everyone else at the school call Haumschilt, who has vibrant red hair and a Spanish accent, by her nickname “Itzy,” she said.
According to “Chappy” Dave Walden, Valley’s program is a faith-based Christian ministry, which he helped start in early August 2000. Of four homework clubs he started, only Valley has survived.
Roughly 200 children are provided for annually, thanks to the no-cost program, three hours each day, five days a week.
At the core of the program is leadership from Itzy, which is “superior,” Walden said in his recent newsletter from the Dominican Republic.
Walden has told Pomerado News Group on other occasions that Haumschilt’s enthusiasm for the Lord and the people she comes in contact with “is contagious.”
Her mission in life is fairly basic, she said.
“I want people to know how we all can work together to make a difference in the lives of others,” Haumschilt said.
“I love to talk about how important it is to be a volunteer in your community,” she added.
She learned that lesson by watching her mother, who assisted Population Council, the Red Cross and other nonprofits in Monterrey, Mexico, where she grew up.
At the age of 9, Haumschilt learned how being a volunteer helps the “giver” and the “receiver.”
Before marrying her husband, Kevin Haumschilt, Itzy was the host and producer of a Spanish language and radio show for 15 years with more than 250,000 fans.
But the need to give back to her community transformed her life from hosting shows to helping others in a more practical way, including the many projects she now gets involved with at locally based Maranatha Chapel.
During the holidays, she and others packed shoe boxes during “Operation Christmas Child,” to provide gifts internationally to boys and girls in need.
She has taken her volunteer efforts to a new level by establishing “Homework Character Clubs of America,” a new foundation which focuses on teaching about character and integrity.
“I travel all over the world talking to people and training them,” she said. “I love to speak to groups and let them know the importance of helping your own community.”
Now, with a board of directors and a growing interest in teaching others about character, the foundation has begun to attract an international following, she said.
“Character changes the way you live,” Haumschilt said. “It’s about all of us giving a little.”
To learn more about this foundation, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact her at 858-883-2845.