Today we’d like to introduce you to Carol Walsh.
Carol, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Tennis Serves Others started in January 2016. It started from an inspiration and a desire to help others. Utilizing my past experience and with the help of tennis friends whom believed in the concept, we worked together to form an organization, a new type of “tennis team”, to use our passion for tennis to serve others. We were fortunate to have the support of Public Law Firm and Darren Guttenberg from Latham and Watkins, who worked with me to write the bylaws creating a solid structure for TSO.
Service to others has always been a part of my life. I grew up in San Diego and, with my church, started going down to Tijuana when I was in elementary school to buy shoes and stay at the orphanages. Service continued with trips to TJ, volunteering at county animal shelters and then in my thirties joining a women’s philanthropy member based non-profit organization – Thursday Club. Spiritually, I believe that service to others is service to God. I’m just trying to please the big boss! 🙂
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think with any new journey, there are obstacles to overcome and lessons to be learned. Working with all women volunteers, many of whom have strong and competitive personalities (we all play tennis), you learn that there are many opinions and there’s a balance in working cooperatively. Running a non-profit corporation still requires good management where protocols and timeliness are very important but all of us, including myself, are volunteers and there’s a different approach one must take. I’m learning to have more patience and flexibility.
I’m extremely grateful to Marcia Patterson who has been in it with me from the first time it was pitched and then to our amazing Boards.
Tennis Serves Others – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Tennis Serves Others is a 501c3 non-profit organization that unites tennis ladies to promote and organize charitable activities benefiting needy individuals, groups, or other organizations in our local communities and throughout the world. We bring ladies together who want to be part of a new team, regardless of level or which club you play at, to use our passions for tennis to help others. Currently, we have 140 honorary TSO members across three chapters – two in Orange County and one in Los Angeles, Orange County – plus a few members in San Diego.
Our ladies come together to do a variety of philanthropy work such as:
Tennis Round Robins – Running medium-sized tournaments to collect money or other items to give to those in need. Tennis SOLES for Others – We collect gently used shoes from twenty shoe bins located across OC, LA & SD and then donate the shoes to homeless shelters, and orphanages in Tijuana and Africa; Tennis SUPPLIES Others – we assemble “necessity bags” that include snacks, toiletries, socks and other useful items that we distribute to the homeless. Our Annual Gala & Tournament – this is our biggest fundraiser of the year, where all members join hands to raise funds for a specific beneficiary that is selected by our members. This year, the event will be held on April 14th at Laguna Niguel Racquet Club to benefit Mary’s Kitchen and ACEing Autism. We raised $20,000 in our first annual event last year and we hope to raise even more this year.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is about doing your best, working with others to help others and making it fun. It’s about camaraderie, teamwork, respect, hard work and striving to make it happen. Life is similar to a tennis match – you need to work hard, do your best, respect other players and have great teamwork (doubles). That’s success. Win or lose, it’s about doing your best with integrity.
Seeing the ladies working together, having fun while doing it and then creating that impact by giving to someone in need is true success. Also, hearing positive comments like “TSO is a great organization”, ” “their events are so fun” and “what a great way to play tennis to help others” makes the heart feel good.
- Annual Membership – $50
- Three year Membership – $150 (plus a shirt)
- Lifetime Membership – $500 (Shirt and TSO license plate holder)
- Website: www.tennisservesothers.org
- Phone: 619-885-4876
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: tennisservesothers
- Facebook: Tennis Serves Others
- Twitter: @TennisServes