Knicely Done: Keeping the volunteer wheels turning at the food pantry

Published: Jun. 6, 2019 at 2:41 PM CDT
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Here’s a Knicely Done mention for a volunteer who has a big challenge at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry:

Karen Langan coordinates the weekly schedule for more than 100 volunteers.

Karen has been a volunteer at the pantry for 25 years. It all started with a request from her husband.

"He said, 'I think you need to take this over, you know, get the volunteers schedule.’ Okay, that shouldn't be too bad. And everything just got added. Another day this week, another day that week."

Now Karen is often at the pantry four days a week. She sets the schedules for the volunteers and a lot of them come area churches.

Karen said, “We put notices in the church bulletin for help at the pantry and I've got a lot of contacts now from being here that long and I'll call somebody at one parish and say we're really short of volunteers again."

Ellen Stuva answered one of Karen's calls. She's now served as a volunteer for about four years.

“When I came, I saw what a great need there was, how grateful the people are,” Stuva said.

With the small army of volunteers needed to operate the food pantry the pressure is on Karen to make sure they're all in the right place at the right time.

“I just have a huge calendar that I have all the names on and daily it changes," Langan said.

Stuva said, “It takes about 12 volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday. And then we have our regular Monday and Wednesday crew of five guys and one lady who come down and stock the shelves for the next day."

Why does she do it? Karen says she just wants to help others. She also volunteers for other outreaches.