Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Posted December 2, 2016

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Meet Karen, another one of our stellar volunteers. Not only does Karen volunteer as a mentor to one of our kids, but she volunteers around The Home for the holidays. Karen shared with us her motivations for volunteering and her advice to other volunteers. 

SH: What brought you to The Settlement Home?

KM: My dear friend Kelly Sharp’s mom is Ms. Gwen Ford – she has been a Club Lady for 20 years.  Through Kelly, I discovered The Settlement Home Garage Sale, where I faithfully shopped for 10 years.  One day, Kelly asked if I knew what The Settlement Home does – which of course I didn’t.  As she explained it – I had one of those inexplicable, un-ignorable, divine moments of clarity.  I knew I was supposed to volunteer there.  

SH:  Why is volunteering important to you?

KM: I had plenty of issues growing up.  Remarkably, I’m having a wonderful adulthood, with a precious husband and two amazing teenage daughters.  I might not have been so lucky.  That realization is always with me. 

SH: What’s your favorite part of being a volunteer?

KM: OMG – that’s easy! My precious mentee!  We have been together now for almost 3 years.  When I first met her, she was in the RTC and now is in a group home, attending Lanier and making good grades!  She has made enormous progress and it’s been a joy to watch.

SH:  How would you describe your role as a volunteer at The Home?

KM: As one of the few (perhaps only) constants, in a life that has had none.  I am someone to count on.  And an additional way to regularly get off campus!

SH:  What kinds of activities do you plan with your kiddo?

KM: My kiddo and I see each other 3-4 times a month – sometimes her best friend comes with us, which is even more fun.  We go out to eat, we run errands.  But most importantly, we talk – about life, things that matter.  I know she trusts me, and knows that I have my broken parts too.  She comes to my house to be with my family sometimes – definitely for holidays.

SH: What advice do you have for other volunteers?

KM: If you’re already volunteering for The Settlement Home – yay!  There is a huge need.  If you’re volunteering elsewhere – please consider.  The girls have limitless potential given the right support and care.

SH: What is your favorite quote?

KM: I have two:

1) To whom much is given, much is expected.  Otherwise known as gifted to give.

2) Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt, the world is unfolding as it should.

SH: What inspires you?

KM: Trying to be worthy of my own incredibly blessed life.  Helping others thrive despite diversity is the way.