Frequent CVN readers may recall articles in recent weeks featuring auctions supporting local businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Mission Possible took time to speak with the volunteer spearheading these efforts, Annette Fisher, a beloved community member who is honored to help her home and Carpinteria family. “Giving back, the love, support and the true beauty of Carpinteria, breathes life into me,” Fisher said. “I feel incredibly blessed and grateful.”
Fisher is battling advanced stages of cancer, but she is still driven to dedicate time and energy toward volunteering. When Covid-19 temporarily closed the doors of local businesses, Fisher began organizing online auctions to support those facing financial hardship. Local bids have raised thousands for the community, from nonprofits to small businesses owners. Her most recent auction for the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History raised $2,000, and she continues to identify those in need of assistance for future fundraisers.
In speaking with Mission Possible, Fisher shared her passion for volunteering and how her love of Carpinteria inspires her to pay it forward.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your life in Carpinteria?
I was a single mom. I didn’t have much, but I was a hard worker and never asked for a handout or assistance from anyone. I worked hard and always wanted my children to be proud of me. I wanted them to know whatever life dealt us, we choose our destiny through hard work, faith and a positive attitude. I wanted my kids to think about others, and not to be selfish.
Describe some of the volunteer work that you have been doing lately for local businesses and organizations.
My most recent goal was to help local businesses that were being impacted the most by having to close their doors because of Covid-19. I started with Carpinteria Nails and raised $422, Seastrand raised $419, Alcazar Theatre raised $1,951, Carpinteria Arts Center raised $1,932 with an additional $400 was donated by 93013 Fund for a total of $2,332. All the businesses that were highlighted have been so grateful; every little bit helps in times like these. I wish I could do more.
For the auction, all items have been donated. I am blessed that we have a special group that donates for every fundraiser, and my husband supports me and my passion. He never says a word when I do local shopping for the fundraiser; he just smiles. We have everything from artwork, Pampered Chef, mosaic yard art, gift certificates to local restaurants, wine, jewelry and more. I pair the items at a cost that is low enough that someone can afford it, and still help the business. All items are priced below value. I want it to be a win-win for the community and the businesses.
Do you work with anyone else in gathering auction items or coordinating the auctions, or do you do most of this work on your own?
I took it upon myself to reach out and start these fundraisers. I wanted to give back to show love and support.
What type of volunteering did you do before the Covid-19 pandemic began?
I volunteered at the Avofest merchandise booth for two years prior to becoming merchandise chair. I am now VP on the board. I have done fundraisers for Forrest Holt, our beautiful and precious child in this community who has taught me a lot. It’s not what we are born with, but again love, support and positivity.
What inspired you to begin your volunteer work to fundraise for local businesses and organizations?
I was inspired to volunteer because I feel blessed to live in a community that’s all about love, giving back and supporting one another. I was diagnosed a little over a year ago with an incurable cancer. This community did a fundraiser and significantly offset my medical bills. Mike and Debi Copus not only hosted the fundraiser but purchased me a scooter to help me when I had significant immobility for a time. I have a lot to be grateful for and feel incredibly blessed to call Carpinteria my home and my family. I can honestly say, I have never felt so loved and supported in my entire life.
What are some things that our readers could do if they are interested in volunteering?
Follow your heart and passion; you will find the most amazing inner satisfaction ever! What is your passion—animals, movies, Avofest, mentoring…? It is so important to live our life with meaning, to make a positive difference in the world.
You Can Help
Learn more about volunteering at these organizations
93013 Strong Auctions: 32auctions.com/93013, (805) 451-2088.