Karen has been a dedicated volunteer at our Senior Pantry for over three years, but her history with Meals on Wheels Western Michigan (MOWWM) goes back much further. She has volunteered with our program for the past seven years, helping with various tasks, including volunteering for several MOWWM events.

Karen was nominated as our July Volunteer of the Month for her service and support during the pandemic. Pantry Manager Danielle Simmons explained how Karen stepped up to volunteer at the main pantry twice a week rather than just the one day she was originally scheduled to work. “Karen is reliable and always ready to help, which has been a lifeline during this past year. We know we can always count on Karen to be there,” said Danielle.

Throughout her career, Karen has held positions that are centered around people and interacting with them daily.  Just by speaking with her for a few minutes, you can immediately tell how much of a people person she truly is. Karen spent 20 years managing various Pizza Hut and Little Ceasers locations, and from there spent 19 years at Menards. After retiring, Karen now spends time working on her house and property in the country. She enjoys the views and being outside sitting with her dog, Cooper, at her favorite spot on her property.

When asked why she chose to start volunteering and what she enjoys most about volunteering, the answer is the same: the people. “There isn’t anybody that I don’t like. I love being around people all of the time, and make friends very easily,” said Karen. She has a great, positive attitude that makes for an incredibly friendly person. Even as she was being interviewed, a staff member wanted to make sure we knew that Karen is a joy to work with and that she is a hardworking and fun volunteer. As for her favorite part of volunteering at our Senior Pantry, well, it’s the people! The other volunteers, the staff and of course, the clients, make the time spent giving back so worthwhile to Karen. And that’s precisely why she is such a special volunteer.

We are so thankful for Karen’s commitment to our program and so grateful to have her as a part of our team. We appreciate her, and others like her who give so generously of their time to serve the older adults in our community. Thank you, Karen!

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