Note in the Pocket
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LeQuandra Ballen is a seasoned professional with a dynamic 23-year career in Social Work and Education. Her unwavering commitment is to empower youth, families, and communities through adept leadership and collaborative initiatives. She ensured seamless educational support coordination, setting high standards for team success, recruitment, and training. LeQuandra’s extensive experience spans roles as an NC Guardian Ad Litem, educator, a leading figure in gang outreach and prevention, and youth programs and child safety at the YMCA of the Triangle. With expertise in coalition development, leadership, project management, and data-driven decision-making, she is a valuable asset for organizations dedicated to enhancing social, emotional, and educational well-being. Her favorite role has been a wife and mother of 4. In her spare time she enjoys fashion design and quilting.
Dallas was instrumental in developing the nonprofit, Note in the Pocket, was a founding member of its Board of Directors and serves as the first Executive Director. Her passion for youth and community volunteerism began in college where she worked with troubled youth. She has participated in and led dozens of volunteer committees through church and at her children’s schools. She is a former member of the Cardinal Gibbons Family Board.
She holds a BS in Parks and Recreation Management from Western Carolina University and has earned an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School. Dallas has used her growth strategy and entrepreneurial skills throughout her previous work experiences as an Activities Director for multiple beachfront hotels right after college, as a Disability Specialist, a Real Estate Relocation Specialist, and as co-creator and owner of Kids Gym, Inc., before taking time to be a full-time mom.
Mrs. Bonavita is a North Carolina native and has lived in Raleigh for over 25 years with her husband Frank, their two grown children, and two dogs, Sloan and Chet.
“Every day I get to work with amazing people dedicated to bringing dignity and love to children and families in our community who are suffering from clothing insecurity. I am thankful for the privilege to serve with such a wonderful staff, a supportive board, and the best volunteers, financial supporters, school social workers, and agency caseworkers in the world.”
Sarah is a passionate nonprofit professional dedicated to building partnerships across sectors to grow our community resources and be a catalyst for change. Sarah has over 15 years’ experience managing strategic fundraising and communication plans, working to raise awareness and engage stakeholders across our community. Her previous nonprofit experience includes Sr. Director of Community Relations with MVLE, and Development Coordinator at PHILLIPS Programs for Children and Families. Sarah holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Public Administration, with a certificate in Nonprofit Management, from George Mason University.. As a North Carolina native, Sarah is grateful for the opportunity to support her local community.
“I believe we all have a story to tell and I’m excited for the opportunity to help share Note in the Pocket’s story. This is such an exciting time for the organization to celebrate our accomplishments as we plan for continued growth and the opportunity to reach even more individuals. All with the goal of inspiring confidence through the power of our community.”
Tia Clark is a recent ECU grad, obtaining her B.S. Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health. As an Intern this summer, she looks forward to giving back to her community and making a difference. She’s always had a passion for giving back and helping kids whenever possible. Knowing the smiles she will put on a child’s face when they receive clothes from this organization, makes all the work worth the while. She is excited to be afforded this opportunity to work with Note in the pocket!
Susan is the Clothing Distribution Coordinator here at Note in the Pocket. She has years of experience working in school systems and is looking to make differences in children’s lives in the community around her. In her free time, Susan enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, daughter and 2 dogs. She enjoys cooking and baking also.
Laura was born and raised in Durham, NC. She only went a few miles from home to attend NC State University where she graduated with a BA in Mass Communications. Laura married her college sweetheart, John, and remained in Raleigh to raise two boys. Laura worked for over 20 years at a local hospital helping others to regain function and mobility after illness or surgery. She found fulfillment in helping others. Now Laura is excited to help others in a new way at Note in the Pocket.
“My position at Note in the Pocket allows me to not only help those in need, but to meet and work with wonderful community volunteers who want to do the same!”
Kirsten joins our Durham team as a Volunteer Leader & Community Engagement Coordinator.
Kate grew up in Florida, where her dad worked for Disney World! She received her BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Florida. Her background is in education. When she and her husband moved to NC to raise a family, Kate became active in local non profits including Note in the Pocket. For the past five years she has worked in college admissions. Kate and her husband of 25 years have three teenage daughters and two dogs.
“I am thrilled to be back at Note and contributing to such an amazing organization. It is a pleasure to work with such a dynamic team with a shared interest in our mission of clothing children with dignity and love.”
Kati is a highly result-oriented leader who excels in partnering with organizations to fulfill strategic initiatives that are translated into broader business objectives. She comes to Note in the Pocket with more than 20 years’ experience, where she most recently held the title of Executive Director for a nonprofit helping to advance children’s literacy throughout Wake County.
Kati spent her youth growing up in Vermont and attended Maryville College in eastern Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration and Accounting from Maryville College. Kati also earned a certificate in NonProfit Management from Duke University
Kait has been fortunate to call Raleigh home since 1994, and throughout the past two decades has been supporting the Raleigh-Durham communities as either a volunteer or working within the nonprofit industry. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, reading, hiking, and baking.
As a child, April watched her mother pastor children from an inner-city church which fueled a passion in her to help children in need. While pursuing a career in human services, she was introduced to Note in the Pocket and was immediately drawn to the work that was being done within the community. She is very excited to join the organization as a staff member and look forward to watching the organization continue to grow and help others.
Carole caught the volunteering bug as a child who tagged along for her parents’ community and church volunteer activities. After experiencing firsthand the satisfaction and inner peace that one derives from service to others and commitment to a charitable mission, she was hooked, and has made volunteerism a core part of her life ever since. Carole’s many years of experience leading volunteers in a variety of nonprofit settings, combined with her background in child and adolescent counseling, fostered a particular fondness for children’s causes. She discovered the wonderful work of Note in the Pocket through both clothing drives at her children’s schools and her involvement with the Junior League of Raleigh. Carole feels fortunate to be part of the Note in the Pocket family!
“I am grateful for a family that loves me beyond measure and friends who support me at every turn. I am honored to be a part of Note’s mission to clothe children with dignity and love, and humbled by our many volunteers who make it all possible!”
Karol Turner is a Raleigh native; whose mother was a single mom of two girls. Her mother always loved working for the community and volunteering in the community as well, bringing Karol along with her ever since she was a little girl.
Karol has since been a part of the nonprofit sector with her focus being children for the past 8 years; seeing first hand the effects of clothing insecurity. Now she is excited to help her community in a new way. In her free time, Karol enjoys DIY projects and participating in a community modern dance company. “I am so excited to be apart of such a dignified community clothing organization because all children deserve to enter the classroom dressed for academic success”
Tammy grew up in Garner, NC, has a Bachelors from UNC-Wilmington and over 10 years experience in Human Resources, Training and Executive Recruiting roles. At a PTA meeting at her child’s school 9 years ago, a presentation was made about Note in the Pocket. The mission strongly resonated and she decided in that moment that she would support this organization in any way possible. Within a few days of that presentation, Tammy was volunteering and holding clothing drives. The more she volunteered, the more she fell in love with the fact that this organization changes the lives of children every single day. In 2018, Tammy was offered a staff position as the Clothing Distribution Coordinator and jumped at the opportunity to join the team. After working almost every position Note in the Pocket has to offer, she is still passionate about the mission and looks forward to going to work every day.
“I am thankful for the many blessings my family and I have been given and the opportunity to give back to my community.”