Volunteer Spotlight: Tia Barile
Today we’re happy to feature Tia Barile, Executive Assistant of Marty Weissman at Market America and one of our most dedicated volunteers. You may not have met Tia, but more than likely you’ve been impressed and moved by her work. Many of the posters that you’ve seen on our website, social media or around the Market America building were designed by Tia and thanks to her help, we were able to present beautifully wrapped gifts to the two homeless families that we sponsored for the holidays last year. Tia regularly supports our bake sales and fundraising events. She understands the importance of giving back and empathizes with those in need. We absolutely adore her friendly personality and willingness to lend a hand and wanted to help you get to know her a little better too!
ma Cares: Could you tell us a little about yourself? What are some of your hobbies and interests?
Tia: I always find this question kind of hard to answer. First and foremost I’m a mother of two amazing little people. My daughter, Adriana is eight going on fifteen and my son, Ryland just turned 7. They have inspired pretty much everything I have done in my life. They are the reason I pushed myself so hard in school, the reason I picked up my camera and started shooting and the reason I put 110% into everything I do. My hobbies all tie into one another. I like to cook, which led to making really cool, healthy bento-box lunches for my kids, which led to food photography and so on. When I have a mommy minute to myself, I like to indulge in a good book or meditate. Though those moments are rare and enjoyable, I’d rather be on a run, racing the kids as they ride their bikes beside me. J
ma Cares: You have created some amazing work for ma Cares. How did you learn to do this?
Tia: I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with my BFA in Design with a concentration in photography and graphic design. I actually originally went to school to be an elementary art school teacher because I love art and my passion was to teach younger minds about the importance of the arts. I later changed my major to design and absolutely fell in love with the work I was producing. My senior year in college I made my own website so I could house my work which developed into something much bigger. I turned my website into my very own work of art a year later, building it from the ground up. Today, ohtia.com features all of the work I’ve done past and present. It’s definitely my greatest hobby and stress reliever. I’m really proud of it. I can do just about anything design related; photography, logo design, website design, and much more!
ma Cares: We really appreciate our service members and enjoy hearing their stories. We understand that your father has a military background. Would you mind telling us a bit about him and his service?
Tia: My father, Joseph A. Barile, is one of the bravest, strongest men I know. He served in the Marine Corps as aCorporal Wire Chief from 1982-1987. OnOctober 23, 1983, at 6:22 a.m.his life changed forever. A truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives crashed into a Marine barracks building in Beirut, Lebanon. My dad was in that buildingand one of only 47 survivors that day. 220 Marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers were killed in the explosion, making the bombing the most deadly attack against Marines since the 1945 battle over Iwo Jima. The U.S. service members were sent to Beirut on a peacekeeping mission along with units from France, Italy and the United Kingdom.As a result of the attack, my dad suffers from PTSD and chronic pain from many surgeries. His way of coping is being with family and going to the Beirut Memorial every year to spend time with other survivors while they pay their respects to their fallen soldiers. I’m so lucky he survived that day and met my mother who was also a Marine. Without him, I wouldn’t be here and I’m thankful but also saddened by those who were lost too soon, including the many very close friends my dad pulled from the wreckage. I’m proud to call him my father. “Ooh Rah! Semper Fi.”
ma Cares: You are always so supportive of our charitable initiatives. Do you have a favorite program?
Tia: I absolutely love making all of the flyers for each amazing initiative ma Cares is a part of, which makes it super hard to pick a favorite. Faith Cares really hits home for so many reasons. I get really emotional when I watch videos and read articles about the veterans and service members we help. It makes it even more special to meet them in person and love on their service dogs. It’s really incredible. One of the other initiatives ma Cares supports that I absolutely love is BackPack Beginnings. It is so, so important that every child has a full tummy at least three times a day but sadly right here in our own backyards, there are kids who don’t have a thing to eat. It makes my heart hurt knowing that children, at the age of my own two kids, have growling tummies and don’t know when their next meal is going to be. That’s where Backpack Beginnings is making a change. They provide food, clothing, and basic necessities for children in need. One child at a time, they are making a difference and that to me is beyond a good reason to call them one of my favorite ma Cares initiatives.
We so appreciate Tia and her support for ma Cares! Do you know someone who makes an incredible impact in your organization? Tell us about it!