Avid volunteer Angie Gibson nominated for First Citizen award
When Kat Budiao strolls through the upper concourse of Randall Stadium during Wilsonville High School football games, she spots Angie Gibson selling concessions. When Budiao's son readied for prom, she ran into Gibson volunteering for the school's corsage fundraiser.
Budiao has seen Gibson volunteer for parent-teacher associations, the Jamba Juice sale at Inza R. Wood Middle School and recruited her to volunteer for a local Boy Scout troop. Despite lacking scouting experience, Gibson now teaches the personal management merit badge at her house.
And the full scope of Gibson's influence extends beyond Budiao's purview.
Gibson has served as a board member for Wilsonville Youth Sports for nearly a decade, has volunteered many times at Boones Ferry Primary School, Wood Middle School and Wilsonville High School, has been a board member for the Wilsonville Basketball Association and leads her son's Oregon Battle of the Books team, among other pursuits.
She does all this while juggling a full-time job at Metro Graphics and raising three sons.
"She's everywhere," Budiao said. "There's certain people you tell them about something and they say, 'What time do you need help?' She's always wanting to help out."
For her steadfast commitment to volunteering, Gibson is one of four nominees for the Wilsonville Rotary First Citizen Award, which will honor one exemplary leader in the community at the Heart of Gold ceremony March 3.
"It's just amazing she hasn't been nominated before," said Budiao, who nominated Gibson for the award.
"Connection" is a word Gibson utters often. Though a potent force in her life, she isn't sure where this urge to connect came from.
Before high school, Gibson attended Catholic schools in Portland that emphasized service.
She recalls volunteering for St. Vincent de Paulin her youth and admired the volunteers who helped guide her Lincoln High School constitution team to victory during a competition in Washington D.C.
Gibson also supported philanthropic efforts at her University of Oregon sorority and when she earned a job out of college, she taught middle schoolers about the business world through a Junior Achievement program.
But the meat of her volunteering resume came once she and her husband settled down in Wilsonville in 1999, where she quickly found her footing.
"I think I look for the opportunity. I joined Moms Club of Wilsonville as soon as I came into Wilsonville," Gibson said. "I think that because connections like these are a passion of mine and Wilsonville is an easy place to find a way to get involved. I just reached out, asked my neighbors, talked to people on the street."
Though she dabbled in volleyball, cheerleading and basketball as a youth, Gibson wasn't passionate about sports. However, once her sons began playing sports she began to volunteer for sports-centric organizations such as Wilsonville Youth Sports and the WBA.
Gibson is proud of helping the WBA bring back middle school recreational basketball years ago and to see cheerleading added to WYS's list of activities. She's not as much interested in batting averages or shooting mechanics but, rather, sports as a way to bind young athletes together.
"I just feel that being connected in whatever form that takes. I'm passionate about kids involved in musicals. I coach OBOB team for my son. I think connection helps the community and helps individual people," Gibson said.
Inside schools walls, she's tutored math, reading and writing.
"I try to come alongside as many kids as I can. That's why I love volunteering in the schools so much — really to know them," Gibson said.
Relationships, rather than rest, energize Gibson.
"I think everyone probably gets their strength in different ways. Some people are a little bit more introverted and they would prefer rest and relaxation but I think group dynamics energize me," Gibson said.
Along with her energy, Budiao appreciates Gibson's humility.
"There's certain people that want to get their name out. She's just doing it out of the goodness of her heart. She wants to set a good example for her boys," Budiao said.
Budiao also says that Gibson has a knack for bringing others aboard various volunteering teams. And Gibson encourages people by pointing out that they don't have to have extensive knowledge in a particular pursuit to help.
For instance, Gibson knew little about Boy Scouts when she was asked to be an advancement chair. But she assumed the position anyway. Along with teaching the personal management merit badge, she also helped develop the chess merit badge.
"My natural comfort would be to be a treasurer but if someone said we need you to teach Boy Scouts to tie knots, I don't know how to tie knots. But if a kid can learn, I can learn," Gibson said.
Despite her busy schedule, Gibson makes times for her book club, skiing, boating and attending her sons' many sporting events.
Gibson proves that, even for those who work full-time and have families, volunteering is more doable than it seems.
"I always tell people that I have the same 24 hours that they do ... I think I naturally have a lot of energy and that helps. But it's just about choices," Gibson said.