Michelle Chamberlain’s involvement in the annual Supplies for Success school supply drive is one of the reasons why the event’s success shines so brightly in the community. As the Volunteer Coordinator of the event each year, Michelle’s hard work and leadership gathers together hundreds of volunteers from different backgrounds and diversities to bring smiles to students of Irving ISD.
Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Michelle Chamberlain moved to Mississippi to go to Millsaps College in Jackson to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. In August 1995, she began her career in insurance and moved to Texas in June 1999. In 2001, her career led her to Texas Mutual, the largest workers’ compensation carrier in the state of Texas. Michelle serves as an underwriting supervisor. “One of my favorite things about the company is that we live out our mission to support employers and their employees in the state, and we give back to our communities.” You can check out her company here: (https://www.texasmutual.com/)
Aside from her 25+ years of experience in the field, Michelle is mother to her teenage daughter, Lauren (fun fact: she’s a dance mom!). This is where her story with the Irving Schools Foundation begins.
She says, “As a single mom, I participated in our church’s Single Parent Family back-to-school event when my daughter Lauren was young.“ In 2014, Michelle was at Irving Bible Church when volunteers were being recruited for the Supplies for Success event. She called our office to ask if she could bring her daughter along when she volunteered.
Soon after, they attended their first Supplies for Success event together and were assigned to greet families in line for dental screenings. Lauren’s 10th birthday was also on that day, so she had her friends tag along to volunteer too! Michelle says, “I woke them up at 5:30 am after the birthday slumber party and we went to the high school to help.”
In thought of her experience that first year of her service, Michelle says, “It was an impactful opportunity for us all to give back to others. I was impressed with how well the event was organized and how many families and students we were able to help. I loved the community fair and seeing all the resources available in the community. And, of course, I will never forget seeing the faces of the students when they got their new backpacks filled with supplies! There was such a genuine feeling of appreciation and joy coming from the students and their parents, and I knew this would definitely be an event we would participate in for years to come.”
The following year, Michelle began serving as the Volunteer Coordinator of the event. Her company, Texas Mutual, joined her that year and have volunteered annually ever since. The event that year especially was a difficult one for Michelle and Lauren. “I had to call my mom to come pick Lauren up during the event because she wasn’t feeling well. After the event was over and I got to my parents’ house to check on Lauren, we ended up in the ER and she had an appendectomy just after midnight on her 11th birthday!”
This scenario, however, hasn’t stopped Michelle and Lauren from returning to the Supplies for Success event every year! We asked Michelle what volunteering means to her: “It is vital to me as a person, a Christian and a mom to serve others and be an encouragement and support to others whenever I can. It is who I am and something I am grateful every day for the ability to do.”
From the team at the Irving Schools Foundation, thank you for all of your hard work and support, Michelle! And congratulations on 20 years at Texas Mutual! See you next August!