Our Board & Volunteers

We are all volunteers!

Volunteer Coordinator

Delivery Coordinator
Linda Wolfe

Shopping Coordinator
Evelyn Venesky

School Contacts Coordinator
Laura Dark

Tech Advisor
Mitzie Whitener

Elaine Moore


Our Board Members

The Homeless Backpacks Board was designed to bring together representatives from a variety of interests and backgrounds to jointly help students in our community by raising money through community events and sponsorship programs, having food drives, food bagging parties  and creating a team to deliver the food to our local schools. Homeless Backpacks is run 100% by community volunteers who want all kids to WIN.

Matthew Klifman

Board Member

I am a married father of two amazing children. I am the youngest of 8 kids with 4 brothers and 3 sisters. I was raised in restaurants from dishwasher to General Manager before transitioning into banking in 2004. My wife, daughter, son and I moved to Thurston County, from West Seattle, in August of 2008. I am a Leadership Thurston County graduate class of 2015, past Olympia Downtown Association Board Member and past Hawks Prairie Rotarian Board Member. I was drawn to HBP organization after witnessing, first hand, students benefiting from program. Hearing their stories of appreciation and the effect on their lives this organization has had made me aware of HBP far reaching impact in Thurston County. Learning the actual numbers of students being served through this volunteer effort made me engage and I joined the HBP Board in 2019.

Kelly Wilson

Chair (Founding Board Member)

I am a married mother of 3 grown (and amazing) children. I have lived in Thurston County most of my life. I spent many years in the day spa industry and am now semi-retired. Homeless Backpacks was born out of a conversation among truly fabulous girlfriends.  Making a difference and lifting up children in our community became our passion.  It has been nothing short of glorious to discover that we live in a community that shares that passion.  I am proud and blessed to be on the Homeless Backpacks board. Being surrounded by so much love and generosity is good for the soul (I think that it is good for your skin too).

Terryl Graham

Secretary (Founding Board Member)

Terryl is a nearly lifetime resident of Washington State and one of the founding board members of Homeless Backpacks.  Through the board participation in the Dream the Dream Forum, a gathering to look at the homeless population of Washington State and initiate plans to eliminate homelessness in 10 years, Terryl attended a break out group on families with children.  It was here that HBP became aware of the staggering numbers of homeless students within our county and state.  These students had an average age of 5th grade, not couch surfing high school students as many would have thought.  HBP began brainstorming on what we could do to help these students have an equal chance at success through and beyond their school years.  Through that brainstorming is where our weekend food for homeless students program was born.  We started with 2 schools as a testing ground and have grown to providing over 500 students with weekend food every week of the school year.  We have also helped similar groups start up in 3 adjoining counties.  Terryl is dedicated to our Mission Statement to End Homelessness one Student at a Time.

Away from HBP Terryl is Financial Manager at the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce.  She spends her off time doing all forms of remodeling to her home, building her woman cave and is a crazed sports fan – loving her Mariners, Sounders, NASCAR and GO HAWKS!

Shelley Nicholson

Board Member

Shelley Nicholson began volunteering for Homeless Backpacks in November of 2012 and quickly fell in love the mission and values of the Homeless Backpacks program. Over the years Shelley has coordinated food drives, bagging parties and chaired fundraisers for Homeless Backpacks. Shelley has also volunteered at local community events to help share her knowledge and passion for the Homeless Backpacks program and is always excited to share how others can get involved.

Shelley is married to her to her husband Dan and has an adult son Matthew that both have clocked many hours helping wherever and whenever they are needed for Homeless Backpacks. When she is not volunteering she is busy working for their family’s small business D Zines: Creative Solutions & Graphic Designs. She also enjoys spending time with her dog Dizzy, camping with friends, playing board games and binge watching HGTV.

Corey Lopardi

Board Member

Corey has been involved in marketing and media production since 1994.   In 2003 he founded Pardiman Productions a digital marketing company located in Olympia, WA.

While Corey’s background is in marketing and media, he is also very involved in the community, and is a Past President of the Hawks Prairie Rotary Club, a past member of the Olympia Lacey Tumwater VCB board, Past Chair of the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, and current board member of Homeless Backpacks.

Gary Warnock


Gary recently became a board member but started volunteering with Homeless Backpacks in 2014, delivering to the schools in Rainier.  He is married and together he and his wife have raised two boys.  Gary is a native of southern California and has made this area home since 1977.  Since 2007, Gary has served as the elected Thurston County Coroner. He attended public schools in Lacey and graduated from North Thurston High School in 1982.  Following high school, Gary enlisted in the US Navy and served honorably until his discharge in 1992. The opportunity of providing service to others was offered to Gary by a local funeral home in 1993 where he became a funeral director/embalmer.  He held this position until 2001 when he left to join the Thurston County Coroner’s Office.  Today, Gary shares his profession and work experience at our local schools, speaking to the students about the dangers our children face.  He closes each of his presentations by sharing a very important fact with the students………. “You represent 33% of our population but you are 100% of our FUTURE”.

In addition to work and volunteering, Gary enjoys doing yard work, spending with family and friends and camping.

Scott Robinson

Board Member

Scott has been volunteering with Homeless Backpacks since 2015 and is committed to helping children be successful at life.  Scott is the Deputy Director at the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office and has spent is career working for state government in roles that help to protect and conserve the natural environment.

Scott has served on the City of Lacey Planning Commission, various positions within Boy Scouts of America and is currently the Chair of the Lacey Library Board. Scott has been married to his wife Meridith since 1994 and has a son in his 20s and a teen-aged daughter that make him very proud.

Sue Hull

Board Member

Susan Hull became a board member with Homeless Backpacks in 2016 and has been volunteering with the organization since 2014. She acts as the Policy and Procedure Coordinator and the Gratuity Coordinator, sending out thank yous to our sponsors and volunteers. Susan also volunteers with the Permission to Dream Foundation who sponsors the Race for a Soldier event each year in Pierce County, lending assistance and resources to the Wounded Warrior Program.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and getting involved in local community activities and events to raise funds in Pierce and Thurston counties for non-profit organizations.


Paul Robischon

Board Member

I have been a resident of Thurston County all my life and attended first grade through twelve in the North Thurston School District, graduating from Timberline High School in 1975. My wife Suzanne and I have been married since September 10, 1977 and we are the proud parents of three grown children. My favorite role is Papa to my 5 grandchildren. In February 2019, I retired after 42 years in the water utility industry.

I joined the board of Homeless Backpack in the fall of 2018 and it is an honor to work alongside the other board members who have invested so much of their time and resources to make HBP the success that it is today.