National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Kathy Mitchell
Today we’re happy to share a volunteer who has continuously spread the word about the mission and work of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), and has shown very clearly that everyone’s voice is powerful!
Kathy Mitchell is an OAC member who joined the organization in 2008. She had bariatric surgery in 2005, and later started a bariatric support group, where she regularly shares resources from the OAC and encourages individuals to attend the OAC’s Your Weight Matters National Convention and YWM Local Events.
Ms. Mitchell attended the first-ever “Discover the Power of Your Voice: You are the OAC” training session at the 2014 Your Weight Matters National Convention. After the training session, she immediately contacted the OAC to find out how she could get more involved with the organization’s work and encourage others to join. Ms. Mitchell is an example of how anyone — no matter where they are located or where they are on their journey with weight — can be a strong supporter of the OAC, and her support has helped others learn what the OAC can provide to them.
1. How did you become involved with the OAC?
Having had RNY 7 (bariatric surgery) in 2005 and then leading a support group beginning in 2008, I started looking for reliable sources of information to share with my bariatric surgery peers. I picked up brochures on childhood obesity provided by the OAC, and I decided to check further into the organization.
I joined the OAC in September of 2008 and started getting publications and newsletters that have kept me updated with the multi-dimensional information in the ever-changing field of bariatrics.
Then around 2012-13, I had time on my hands and started researching the many aspects of the OAC and then realized all of the things that the Obesity Action Coalition strives to accomplish, such as eradicating childhood obesity, abolishing fat shaming, spreading the word on recognizing obesity as a disease and working to get medical help for those of with weight-related issues, just to name a few.
2. In what ways do you volunteer for the OAC?
I volunteer for the OAC by sharing information with the bariatric community and by advocating for healthier choices in the local grade school breakfast program to prevent childhood obesity. I also plan to continue spreading the word about the OAC at some local health fairs by distributing OAC flyers.
3. What is your favorite memory of volunteering for the OAC?
My favorite memories of the OAC involved having my peers join me in the activities and work of the OAC and attending the OAC’s Your Weight Matters National Convention, where I have met other volunteers and advocates from the United States and Canada.
4. Why drives you to continuously support the OAC?
5. Why should others volunteer on behalf of the OAC?
When you give support to others, you gain support for yourself as well. By volunteering for the OAC, you’ll be providing support through advocacy.