“That’s just the way the Kiwanis people are – caring and giving. They just can’t seem to do it enough.” I can still hear the late Buddy Howard’s voice as he video-recorded his grateful remarks, thanking Kiwanis Family House for all we had done for him and his family during his eight years of cancer treatments. Before he finally succumbed in 2013, the Yerington, Nevada resident was our guest on more than 70 occasions.
Buddy was talking about Patsy Butler. Patsy just can’t seem to give enough. She comes in every other week to prepare thank you letters to all who have made donations to Kiwanis Family House. Patsy adds value to the important task of donor relations.
Buddy was talking about Dottie Seigal. Dottie just can’t seem to give enough. She reports dutifully one day every week to help front desk staff answer telephones, greet families who are checking in, and provide information to inquiring minds. Dottie adds value to our guest relations.
Buddy was talking about Carol Frost and Jim Legler. Carol and Jim just can’t seem to give enough. They log hours every week aboard the riding lawn mower, operating edgers and trimmers, and pruning overgrown plants. Carol and Jim add value to the lodging experience of our guest families.
Buddy was talking about Bob Isaacs. Bob just can’t seem to give enough. He goes shopping every week to ensure that our all-important food closet remains sufficiently stocked. When the pantry is stocked, so are the guest kitchens. Bob adds value to our service delivery.
Buddy was talking about Ron Beams, our volunteer chaplain. Ron just can’t seem to serve enough. Two days each week, he commits several hours to our guest families and their sick or injured loved ones. They talk, he listens. He talks, they listen. Ron adds value to the families’ experience at Kiwanis Family House that few others can.
Through their sustained efforts, our “regular” volunteers emerge as visible champions for Kiwanis Family House. In doing so, they extend our resources and enable us to do tasks that might not otherwise get done. Because volunteering is their personal choice and not their job, they earn credibility that paid staff is unlikely to ever build. That’s just the way the Kiwanis people are, right Buddy?