Firing director is last straw for volunteer
For the past seven years, I have been a volunteer at the Burbank
Temporary Aid Center. During this time, I have seen the BTAC board of
directors terminate several center directors and top-level people
without warning, effective immediately.
Since it has happened again to the most recent executive director,
Patricia Smola, I have terminated my relationship with the
organization. I can no longer work under a board who treats its
employees in this manner.
Pat Smola had worked hard for BTAC, giving her all to build a
strong relationship between the community and the organization. This
was proven by the generous contributions of Burbank citizens and
I only hope that a new board can be formed -- one that will
respect the employees and volunteers, asking for their input on the
effectiveness of the organization and respecting them with the same
courtesy they have given the clients who so desperately need their
If this happens, I will be proud to be a member of the BTAC
volunteer group again.
reader feel at ease
I was completely shocked and dismayed to read your article
regarding the firing of Patricia Smola. I had the opportunity to meet
this dynamic lady two years ago when a family in my child’s school
was in great financial need just two weeks before Christmas.
Even though I was asking for help on behalf of someone else, I had
feelings of guilt, shame and fear when I walked in the front door of
Burbank Temporary Aid Center.
Ms. Smola immediately put me at ease as I explained their story.
She filled my van with food and toys for this family and gave me
telephone numbers for further assistance for them. This was all in a
day’s work for her, but it meant the world to this family and to me.
Pat Smola is an amazing person who cares about the people in our
community who find themselves in great need, even temporarily. How
many of us might be a few paychecks away from financial disaster,
medical emergency, job loss or who knows? But now who will be there
with a kind heart when we need one?