CAMP Rehoboth’s Newest Board Members
In One Word: Strategic
Looking back on her CAMP service, people will say: “That I cared, and that I worked hard, and that I helped grow the organization.”
Polly Donaldson sees parallels between being on a golf team and serving on a board. “Golf is a mental game as well as physical,” she explains. “I think that’s also true for a nonprofit.… You have to care, but you also have to be disciplined and make sure you’re doing things right and by good process and with transparency.”
Until she moved here two years ago, Polly hadn’t seen CAMP Rehoboth’s impact in the off-season. “Honestly, I did not know the full breadth of programs and services and engagements across so many spectrums and categories, from the chorus to art shows to health services to support groups to advocacy. And that to me, that whole continuum of engagement—I love that.” Engagement runs to her core. “I’m for the most part an extrovert, and I can’t live in a community without engaging and supporting the community. I can’t be a bystander.”
After joining the board, Polly was asked to serve as treasurer. She had worked with an organization in DC that grew from $500,000 a year to $6 million during the 11 years she served as executive director. “I see my role to help further strengthen the financial foundation of CAMP for the future but also to be very clear in communicating about what the financial position is and how we’re using the resources that individual donors and foundation donors and corporate donors trust us with.”
Polly is particularly excited about the growth planned for CAMP. “To me, what’s really exciting is that with [the new strategic plan] and with new leadership under Kim, I think the organization is in a position to really expand its impact.”
In addition to golf, Polly enjoys music, opera, and cooking. While she does a lot of Italian cooking, Polly was inspired to try Asian cuisine after adopting a child from China. Her daughter loved the familiar smells of Chinese cooking.
Polly is enjoying her new home. “Everybody has been so embracing, and that’s across the board, and especially true at CAMP with the wonderful men and women that I’ve met there and I’m just grateful, quite frankly, for the opportunity to serve and be helpful.” As Polly points out, “There’s a reason why after 30-some years, CAMP not only is here but is strong and vibrant and needs to continue to be able to serve the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.”
In One Word: Creative
Looking back on her CAMP service, people will say: “That I fought for them. That I had their backs. That I provided them with resources they needed.”
Teaching children is good preparation for anything, but in Michelle Manfredi’s case, it prepared her to serve on CAMP’s Board and help with community outreach. “I work with K through 3 all day,” she says, “so getting to be creative and being proactive with adults and getting involved in the community is a break from my 9 to 5.”
Michelle moved to Delaware about five years ago. She got involved with the youth program at CAMP, then met Matty Brown, who has become a close friend. Since then, she’s participated in CAMP Rehoboth’s Handmade Market (she’s an artist who draws and works in ceramics), been co-chair of the Block Party, and is a co-chair of this year’s Women’s FEST.
“I am so involved with CAMP, I was just excited to be more involved,” she explains. “I see a good future for CAMP.” Michelle is particularly interested in expanding resources for minority communities—programs for people of color, youth, and young professionals, as well as the trans community.
While Michelle has plenty of formal education (associate degrees in business and art, bachelor’s in art education, master’s in reading education), she values her creativity and patience. “When something doesn’t work out right away, it doesn’t mean I give up,” she says. “It means I keep pushing myself to think outside the box and think of ways to help others and what they need.”
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Michelle is single and lives with a roommate (who is also a volunteer for CAMP) and a dog named Eddie (who looks like Eddie Munster). To unwind, she listens to music. “Music helps me calm down after a day, driving in the car, blasting some music.”
Michelle also performs as a drag king, making her own outfits, doing her own makeup, and creating music mixes for the performances. “I’m a very gender-fluid king, but I do present and do male impersonation. It’s just a little flamboyant now and then.” People tell her she can’t hide her femininity. “I can’t. I am who I am.”
Michelle enjoys the working environment at CAMP. “What I love best,” she says, “is that everybody there has the same goal—to build a better community. People are very selfless there. They’re there to work to help others and that’s something that makes me very happy inside…it’s exciting. It makes me want to be better as a person. It makes me want to help my community even more.” ▼