Author Specials

Delivering Warmth…A Great Way to Volunteer!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Re-post on volunteering, originally posted June 10, 2013.

Last week I wrote of one of my first volunteer experiences as a Delivery Driver for Meals on Wheels. My route was in Alden, Iowa. I still remember several of the seniors I delivered to even though that was well over 30 years ago (and a reason it’s not on my current resume!)

Delivering warm food to someone’s door was great! I received warm greetings and countless thank yous. Still to this day when I drive by one particular farm house on highway D 20 leading into Alden…I remember him and smile.

I enjoyed the work because I love senior citizens! I got great experience driving, meeting older people and working with a crew. I loaded the meals at St. Mark’s Catholic Church (we’re talking Iowa Falls – my hometown), and off I went on my route.

I drove my mom’s car (it was a Plymouth Champ) to deliver!

Plus, I learned how to reach out to people who because of disabling condition are unable to be out in their community nearly as much as they had in the past. That’s hard on a person. I have deep respect for people who have worked hard for so long and retired (…retirement’s been awhile for mom and dad, and g’pa Jimmy too!)

Wisdom is endless!

Stop and think about one of your favorite volunteer activities.  Meals on Wheels was one of mine…..maybe someday I’ll be able to deliver again. Or, idea, maybe one day I’ll deliver communion to people who are “home-bound”. I really want to do that! My mom and dad deliver communion to Catholic people who live in a care center, on that same highway leading into Iowa Falls from Alden!

Here’s a listing of the volunteer work I’ve engaged in within the last decade or two! It’s helpful to process your experiences no matter how long ago as you can learn more about yourself in retrospect!


  • Band Boosters ~ North High School (2010-2013)
  • Chair ~ Job Placement Network (2006-2008)
  • Communion Minister ~ All Saints Catholic Church (current)
  • Group Facilitator ~ Tobacco Smoking/Chewing Cessation (1993-1996)
  • Interview Committee Member ~ North High School (2013)
  • Secretary ~ North High School Debate Parent Association (2005-2006)
  • Secretary ~ Iowa Falls High School Class of 1981 Reunion Committee (2011)
  • Speaker ~ School/Community on Education, Health Priorities & Success (current)
  • Sponsor ~ Pre-Marriage Couples (current)
  • Teacher ~ Youth Faith Formation (10 years) / Faith Formation Typist (2 years)
  • Treasurer ~ Des Moines Commuter Club (1993-1995)
  • Serve as “guinea pig” for counseling practicum students (current)
  • Vocational assistance to incarcerated adults (2011-2012)

Click here to read a bit more about volunteering!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce


Author Specials

Never Underestimate the Power of Volunteering!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I want to reflect upon my volunteering experience … and engage you in thinking of your own. Does volunteering pique a developing interest? What specifically do you, or have you done to volunteer? Did the time fly when you were engaging in the experience? What were you responsible for in the role?

Even if it’s low key, your contribution and what you gain from any volunteering experience is of value.

Job Placement Network

For three years, back in 2006 – 2008, I chaired the Job Placement Network group. So, my interest was (and remains so) networking! My role to serve as the leader of this diverse group of community service providers offered me the opportunity to expand upon my existing skill set.

I tasked myself to administrate to the non-profit’s mission, organize meetings, market to employers, design and deliver materials and resources, recruit members, communicate ideas and detailed information, and most importantly network, network, network! And have fun!

Your network can grow as much as your mind can think. And there is no limit to your thoughts!

Currently, the networking group has not been engaged, although I’m sure hopeful in the future with new leadership, JPN can really make a splash in the future of our community!

Here’s a quick slide show about JPN designed in 2008.

If you are interested, (how about you, you wonderful Drake student?) please contact me for more information.


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce




An Umbrella After 20 Years!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Randy celebrates 20 years of teaching for Des Moines Public Schools this year. 20 years! of teaching!

Randy Botkin DMPS Service Award

The GiftRandy appreciating the gift of appreciation he received

The umbrella did come in handy as all you DesMoines-ians (and the Midwest actually) know with this rainy weather we’ve been having. Good job Randy. I love you and am so thankful for your longevity (ooohh). Could I have your umbrella please?!

This week I am going to start blogging about a subject I’ve been wanting to blog about for awhile. Volunteering! Volunteering (I will quit being redundant hopefully) is such a good thing.

This weekend, Randy and I volunteered for North High School Band Boosters: we helped to run the concession stand at John Grubb Stadium for a youth track meet. It was fun! And the youth and adults who were our customers were very appreciative and polite.

Hats off to all you wonderful people!

Okay, so yea, volunteering. Performing a service voluntarily. Think about what you’ve done in this regard……and how it benefited others! Good huh!

Anyway, when you have children and are an active member of any community, you will be called to volunteer. My first memory of volunteering was for Meals on Wheels. More to come on that!

Have a great week! School is out for the summer on Wednesday. Be safe and love your children and neighbors. Volunteer to help!

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

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