VEAP loves our volunteer corps of 3,000 people! In our Volunteer Spotlight series, we highlight their amazing work and dedication in advancing VEAP’s mission.
When did you get involved with VEAP? What attracted you? April 2014. I wanted to assist people and I learned about VEAP from my mom and church. My mom has been a volunteer here for quite some time.
What volunteer roles do have with VEAP? Which is your favorite? Lobby Intake Lead, Phone Intake, Data Entry, Volunteer Check-in, Exit Assistant, Hospitality Committee. Lobby Intake is my favorite because I can work face to face with our clients. If I can make their day better for even 10 minutes that just warms my heart.
What keeps you volunteering with VEAP? I love assisting clients. It makes my limitations seem like nothing and that’s what keeps me going too. I love feeling like I’m giving back and paying it forward for all that I’ve received.
What makes volunteering meaningful for you? I feel like I’m making a difference, one client at a time.
Is there a particular moment or favorite memory that stands out from volunteering? They aren’t favorites but two memories stand out. A client was a severe domestic abuse victim and I felt that she needed a contact here at VEAP. She had 2 kids, no way to get food, and broke down in tears because we were able to help her. There was another client who also needed immediate assistance because she was dealing with domestic abuse. She could hardly move, she was so distraught. I was able to pop into action and she was able to see a social worker here immediately.
What might someone be surprised to learn about you? I’m painfully shy but I put on my game face. I’ve been in customer service for 25+years and it really helps me dealing with clients and special events. Just walking in the door helps me put my game face on. I can leave what I’m worried about at the door. I’ve been shy my whole life, I’m getting better. I am a cancer survivor for 48 years. I was only the 5th child to live in 1970 with neuroblastoma.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering? I volunteer at church, I usually serve at funerals. I like to make people laugh and smile. I love watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network but on the other hand I hate to cook. I’m glued to the TV on Monday and Tuesday nights for WWE Wrestling. Roman Raines and Becky Lynch are my favorite wrestlers. I have 3 cats and they watch TV with me: Maddie, Tabby, and Violet.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at VEAP? We need you. When can you start? There are lots of opportunities for different skillsets. Everyone here is so accommodating!
What else would you like to share? I was born in Chicago and lived there for 26 years, I moved to MN because my stepdad was transferred here. I’ve been a certified optician for more than 25 years. When we moved here, I got hired over the phone to work at LensCrafters. I started the day after we moved to MN.
I try to be positive, there is someone always worse off than me. I have all my limbs, I have a house, and I have food.
Thank you, Katie!
Are you ready to become a volunteer like Katie? Sign up today!