Boys Hope Girls Hope is excited to highlight team members whose time in service has had a major impact on scholars, collegians, alumni, and colleagues. This month, we're excited to chat with Linda Buffa, Senior Account Clerk at Network Headquarters, she's celebrating over 22 years with us at Boys Hope Girls Hope!
Every role at Boys Hope Girls Hope is important to our mission! Some team members work directly with our scholars, while others, like Linda, work behind the scenes day in and out to ensure our donors' contributions are safely and properly allocated, our partners and vendors are paid on time, and there's a professional, and friendly person to help our team members across the Network.
Patience Randle: What led you to Boys Hope Girls Hope?
Linda Buffa: I have a really good friend who worked at Boys Hope Girls Hope, and she would always tell me about the mission and how it was such a great place to work. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom, and she encouraged me to apply for a position there. She knew that Boys Hope Girls Hope aligned with my values. And she was right! I’ve been working in the same position ever since.
"I had a really good friend who worked at Boys Hope Girls Hope and she would always tell me about the mission and how it was such a great place to work."
Patience: Out of everything that you do, what is your favorite part of your role?
Linda: I really do enjoy the banking aspects of my job. When I check in with the bank every day, it makes me really excited because that’s essential to achieving our mission.
Patience: How does it feel to know that donors depend on you to ensure their contributions are properly used?
Linda: There is definitely an important process that goes along with that. The donors’ checks come to me, and I scan them and send them to a different department. We have good checks and balances in place to keep track of contributions and to acknowledge our contributors. So while I don’t have any direct correspondence with the donors, I help make sure that all of our financial and donor records are up to date!
Patience: You’ve been here for over twenty-two years. Can you share one of your favorite Boys Hope Girls Hope memories with us?
Linda: Oh my gosh, there are so many! Some of my favorite memories include our holiday get-togethers as a team. We’d bring food into the office and exchange stories and really great meals. And, it was just a good spiritual time of connecting and sharing. One of my favorite memories with the team that we have now was our recent gathering in New Haven for our outdoor team retreat. It was so much fun getting to know everyone more, and there were lots of great laughs!
"We are so deeply grateful to Linda, our longest-serving, Network Headquarters team member. Linda's friendly, upbeat spirit, willingness to jump in to help, and constant eye on what’s best for the organization are incredible!"
—Kristin Ostby de Barillas, President and CEO
Patience: Speaking of memories, what changes have you noticed in the organization throughout your time here?
Linda: Things have changed so much since I started! Believe it or not, when I started, we still answered the phone and wrote the messages on little pink paper slips. Technology has changed everything!
I’ve seen a lot of positive changes over the years. Kristin does a great job of keeping all of her team members informed and up to date with what’s going on within the Network. I love the diversity and inclusion initiative and have noticed a lot of progress in that area.
I see things going in a really great direction. And I’m very optimistic for the future.
Patience: When you’re not crunching the numbers, what are some of the things that you like to do for fun?
Linda: Before COVID hit, I was really into bargain shopping. I love hunting down a good deal and would never pay full price, hardly for anything. I also recently took my first ever road trip! My cousin retired and called me up one day. She said, “I don’t really know what to do with myself. Do you want to go on a road trip?” I said sure! We are both vaccinated, so I thought, “Why not?” We were gone a full week to Laurel, Mississippi, and it was one of the best vacations I’ve been on in a long time.
I guess you could say that’s what I’m into now! Little mini road trips, exploring mom and pop bed and breakfasts, and taking it slow.
Patience: What’s kept you passionate about the mission after all these years?
Linda: This is tough because there are so many reasons. I truly believe in the mission and education. It’s so great to work with team members who feel the same way about the mission as I do. There’s no doubt about it. Being here so long and literally seeing scholars grow up in the organization into alumni is so rewarding. It’s incredible, and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon.
"Being here so long and literally seeing scholars grow up in the organization is so rewarding. It’s incredible, and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon."
Patience Randle is the Communications and Media Associate at Boys Hope Girls Hope Network Headquarters.