At SDAF, Volunteering Can Open Doors to a Bigger World

SDAF volunteering opens doors

Nikki Holloway had been looking forward to volunteering for OH! San Diego ever since she missed the chance last year. A marketing coordinator at Balfour Beatty, Holloway and her boyfriend, Rob Rusnak, finally got the opportunity to participate in the citywide celebration of San Diego’s built environment this March, when they volunteered for OH! San Diego in Balboa Park.

“OH! San Diego is such a cool event,” Holloway says. “By opening nearly 100 architecturally unique sites to the public — sites that aren’t always accessible — the design showcase exposes residents to some of the city’s most iconic structures. It’s a great volunteering opportunity, because it allows you to get to know the city and establish a stronger cultural identity.”

Benefits of SDAF volunteering

Nikki Holloway with her boyfriend, Rob Rusnak, volunteering as part of OH! San Diego 2020

Volunteering at SDAF Driven by Strong Sense of Community

For Holloway, who’s lived here since the age of 3, volunteering for OH! made her feel more connected to home. Long an admirer of San Diego’s built environment, Holloway has followed SDAF for a few years. Drawn by her interest in historical preservation, she found that the more she attended SDAF events like PechaKucha Night, the more she wanted, well…more. Behind her growing enthusiasm are the people and energy that make SDAF events feel so inclusive.

“The people are passionate about what they do, and that really shines through,” says Holloway, who has a degree in visual and performing arts and is a member of the Design Forward Alliance. “You especially get a sense of that when you volunteer. All of it together makes me feel part of something bigger than myself.”

In the last few years, Holloway has enjoyed San Diego’s culinary scene, and she savors the restorative power of local nurseries, trails and gardens. She’s active with the Sierra Club, and is teaming with her Balfour Beatty coworkers in a Habitat for Humanity event this year.

Just as all of these things add balance to her life, so does design. Next in her SDAF involvement, Holloway would like to volunteer for Orchids & Onions, SDAF’s celebration of the year’s most notable (and questionable) architecture and design. She hopes to contribute when the celebration takes place Oct. 1.

“It feels great to help out,” she says. “I want SDAF as an organization to thrive and reach others, because I enjoy being part of it. Let’s get the word out.”

There’s something for everyone at SDAF. Sign up to volunteer with us and let us know how you’d like to contribute. You never know where it can lead.

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San Diego Architectural Foundation



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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