Since 1990, Sandra Soares has volunteered for the Adopt-A-Family program, helping to ensure that every child in Woonsocket has gifts to open at Christmas each year. The program has provided presents for some 41,888 children in the city since 1992, filling a wish list for every single family that's applied for help since 2005.
Soares has served on the Board of Directors since its inception in 1993 and was elected board president in 1995, the same year the organization became an official 501c3 nonprofit. She was named program coordinator in 2003 and has served as executive director since 2013, continuing to grow an efficient and respected city charity purely through volunteer labor.
Dedicating approximately 30 hours a week from October through late December, in addition to her full-time work as a realtor, she says it's time to call it quits. "It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. It's a full-time job," Soares said.