“I just love them.”
Ask the RMHC Michiana staff about volunteers Don and Kathy Demeter, and you’ll likely get a similar response. Smiles and laughter tend to follow them around the House. And those smiles and laughter get quite the workout, because Don and Kathy are always moving.
“Don has helped fix things all over the House,” said House Operations Assistant, Sue Losievski. “He’s our handyman.”
Don and Kathy are married, and they’ve been volunteering with RMHC Michiana for about 7 years. After retiring from working for the City of Mishawaka, Don had seen a newspaper article that mentioned RMHC Michiana. He had been looking for a way to spend his time, and he started volunteering with the charity. He has never looked back.
“The thanks that we get from a guest after a task as simple as serving dinner really opens your eyes,” Don said. “It’s very sincere, and you know that what you do matters to them.”
Kathy had been a special needs homecare nurse. When she saw how much Don had been making an impact, she wanted to join in too. She found that her experience working as a caregiver gave her a unique insight into the needs of the families she served at RMHC Michiana.
“I had seen the other side of caring for children in need,” Kathy said. “To be here now and see the pain when a family gets the initial news – I can be an encouragement to those that are scared in that moment.”
Both Don and Kathy have found their niche. Don helps setting up for events and can usually be found fixing something around the House. Kathy loves to organize anything she can find, and often cooks meals for the families staying at RMHC Michiana.
They have become extensions of the staff, bringing smiles with them any time they volunteer. And they take special care in making time for conversations with families to let them know that someone is thinking of them.
“We get to be an encouragement to those that are scared and going through pain,” Kathy said. “Being available for them truly makes a difference.”
We get to be an encouragement to those that are scared and going through pain. being available for them truly makes a difference.