Kathleen is a woman with a big heart. Even though she balances a full-time job, keeps up with her family, and follows through on personal commitments, she still finds time to volunteer multiple times a week. Below, Kathleen explains why volunteering is so important to her and her community in Wilmington, NC.
What organizations do you support and why are they important to you?
Locally, the Miracle League and the Hot Wheels Hockey Team come to mind.
The Miracle League is an organization that helps those with special needs play baseball. The League opened a Miracle Field, a completely accessible baseball field that everyone can use. Everyone can play–there’s no one on the sidelines. There’s a fully accessible playground as well.
Hot Wheels Hockey is a team of players that play wheelchair hockey games. They challenge different local businesses and other teams around Wilmington, and everyone plays in a wheelchair. In the last game, I went to, the Hot Wheels team won 7 to 2!
What part of volunteering stands out to you?
Go to a game at the Miracle Field. Watching the faces of people when they get to home plate is one of the most emotional things I’ve ever seen. They’re so happy and clapping and everyone’s cheering… it’s just like… wow. It’s something that they’re not used to being a part of because they’re usually on the sidelines, yet here they are, scoring a point for their team. Everyone should experience that feeling.
How has community involvement enriched your life?
It humbles me beyond belief. Sometimes we take the blessings we have for granted, but volunteering puts it all into perspective. After every event I attend, I come away feeling so fortunate to be a part of such a loving experience.
What would you say to someone wanting to get involved in their community, but is scared to take the first step?
That once they get involved they will wonder why they didn’t do it sooner. Once you take that first step and go volunteer somewhere, you’re going to look forward to it every week.
Has community service always been a part of your life?
When my children were young, we would participate in seasonal events for the less fortunate. Sponsor a family for Christmas, make food, and serve the homeless at Thanksgiving. Once we had a family in our neighborhood that lost pretty much everything in a house fire. All the neighbors gathered up clothes, toys, furniture, food, and money to help them get back on their feet. When you volunteer, you really do make a difference in someone’s life.
How do you balance a full-time job at 101 Mobility® and other commitments with your volunteer work?
Everyone has time, you just have to prioritize. For instance, a game at the Miracle League is one hour, and there are several games that day. Pick one where that hour works for you and stick to it. Make it a regular part of your week.
What is your hope for the community you serve?
I hope more people will realize how much it means to give their time. Everyone wants to know that they matter, and the people we reach out to and cheer for are so grateful. If I can make that difference, anyone can, and I hope they choose to do so!