A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: April Wittenstrom
April Wittenstrom frequently volunteers within her community and has a strong presence in the Porter County Neighbors Helping Neighbors Facebook group. Wittenstrom strives to do what she can to make the world a better place.
Wittenstrom attained a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2011, she was awarded a scholarship at the 2011 Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce APEX Awards for excelling in philanthropy, leadership, and professionalism. Wittenstrom stated that she went into this field because of her high school English teacher, who helped her through a rough part of her life and served as an inspiration for her overall.
“She always counseled and understood me,” Wittenstrom said. “Without her in my life, I don’t know where I would’ve ended up. She was my biggest role model, and I chose to follow in her footsteps so that someday I could do the same for other children.”
Wittenstrom has also been heavily involved in working for communities, especially charities and animal shelters for the past 20 years. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has only made her more determined to lend a helping hand to others. In fact, she did a food bank with her son Brayden during the early days of the quarantine.
“I want to fix others’ problems to the best of my ability,” Wiittenstrom said. “Whether it be donating food or buying clothes for someone who needs it, I just feel the need to help others.”
This led her to get involved with Porter County Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a group dedicated to helping others in the area that started with the COVID-19 pandemic. Brought onboard by admin Barb Zingo-Blashill, Wittenstrom serves as a moderator for the group’s Facebook page and provides support however she can.
This holiday season, Wittnestrom created, organized, and help distribute toys to 100 Porter County children in need as part of the Santa's Sleigh project.
“Community service is taking a part of yourself and giving it to others in need,” Wittenstrom said. “Whether you’re helping a single person, family, or an entire organization, trying to do good and bringing good into the world is something everyone should strive for.”
Wittenstrom and her son, Brayden, were honored with a certificate award from Porter County for their help in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel good about my role in community service,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement, but at the end of the day, going to bed with a clear conscience and the thought that I made a difference is really comforting.”
When Wittenstrom is not working to make the community a better place, she spends time with her son Brayden and her dog.