Del Mar resident Michelle Candland adds to extensive volunteer experience

Michelle Candland

Del Mar resident Michelle Candland’s extensive volunteer experience has resulted in accolades such as the Art of Giving Award as Community Volunteer of the Year by San Diego Magazine Charitable Events Registry and Director of the Year for Corporate Governance Not-For-Profit by the Corporate Directors Association.

In a Q&A, Candland discussed her volunteering, including a new role as president of the board of directors for the San Diego Women’s Foundation, which issues grants that help underserved communities throughout San Diego.

Q: What has inspired you to stay involved with the community all these years?

Candland: Well you’re supposed to leave it better than you found it, right? So I think the whole idea is just — first of all starting in Rotary, which is service before self, starts the ball rolling. And then seeing how much need is out there is just overwhelming and I think the idea is just to try to make a difference. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do, one person at a time.

Q: How did it feel to be named president of the board of directors of the San Diego Women’s Foundation?

Candland: It’s truly an honor, being a member and seeing the work that’s been done by the organization over the past 20 years and seeing the individuals that have been a part of it and the legacy of all the different leaders. It’s an honor to be a part of that team.

Q: What are your goals as president?

Candland: I think my personal goal is to help the Women’s Foundation not be a well-kept secret. We do amazing work all over the community and a lot of people don’t even know we’re here. So I think it’s important that we get the word out, we demonstrate the work we’re doing, and the work we’ve done, and try to get more of the community involved in the work we’re doing.

Q: Is there a particular achievement that you are most proud of?

Candland: I was the president of the San Diego Rotary Club. That was an incredible honor and a large group of people in an international organization. That was impactful and I was proud to be a part of it.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who want to get more involved in their communities but don’t know where to start?

Candland: Go to the Google. Look for not-for-profits active in the community. All they need is a volunteer, so find an organization that speaks to you and make the call or go online to their website and I guarantee they need help. And all you have to do is volunteer and they will find a job for you.

Q: What was the inspiration for your book, “Common Threads - 10 Life Stories: How Women Weave Tribulation into Triumph”?

Candland: Basically, it’s my story and the story of nine other women that have overcome obstacles and my inspiration was if I can overcome obstacles and come out the other side better as a human being, other people can do it as well. And I think that the idea was I’m just a regular person, not a star, not any kind of a personality, and if I can overcome them, hopefully, my goal is to help other people realize that they’re capable of overcoming them as well.

For more information on the San Diego Women’s Foundation, visit