“Don’t give blindly”: Wise words from a dedicated monthly donor
Kimi Corney arrives for our interview with full hands. She’s brung three dozen donuts in to be served from our Café, a sweet treat to offset our normally healthy fare. Kimi knows many of the people who frequent HOPE House, and she knows their love of sugary goodies. See, Kimi has been a supporter of HOPE House since before its inception and volunteered with us previously for three years. Now, six years in, Kimi and her husband, Scott, continue to be dedicated monthly donors, people we fondly call ‘Friends of HOPE House’.
As a member of Lakeside Church congregation, Kimi “started chipping in” monetarily on a monthly basis when the church decided to buy the property that is now HOPE House. Upon retirement, she decided to sign up to volunteer here as soon as we opened our doors in September of 2012.
“I volunteered because I had the time and needed something to do and I want to help people. That’s just my personality. I’ve always felt drawn to the less advantaged and to service work. If I see someone needs something and I can help, I help. Sometimes I was here three to five days a week depending on my schedule. It was basically my second home and I loved it.”
Due to her volunteerism, Kimi has an insider’s familiarity with programs such as the Food Market, Christmas Hampers and the Guelph Community Backpack Project. She also worked at the reception desk for almost three years, performing data management and scheduling food, clothing and hair appointments for community members. It is through these opportunities that Kimi exuded and lived out our core values of compassion, dignity and encouragement.
“I think that everybody deserves the love that we can give them because, a lot of times, they’re not getting it out there. We might be the only people who smile at them that day or the only person to ask ‘how are you’? I remember calling a gentleman sir, asking him ‘sir, what time would you like to make your next appointment?’ and he said ‘what are you calling me sir for? No one calls me sir’, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect. It doesn’t matter if a person is homeless, they deserve respect the same as we deserve respect”.
Kimi is also very familiar with the value of people’s stories and, in honouring their stories and meeting people where they are at, lives by the golden rule.
“I really feel that everybody has a story that explains what’s holding them back, or has lent to mental illness or whatever it is that has caused a person to be disadvantaged, and who am I to say ‘you shouldn’t do this’ or ‘you shouldn’t do that’? I attempt to treat others as I would like to be treated and I try to live close to what Jesus would be like. If Christ were here, where would he be? He’d be at HOPE House serving people food, helping them get their groceries, making sure they made appointments for the following month so they don’t forget. Things like that. That’s what Jesus would be doing.”
As our interview wraps up I thank Kimi for her insights and her important contribution as a Friend of HOPE House. I then ask her if she has any last thoughts for potential monthly donors and she wisely replies,
“I know where the money goes from a behind the scenes perspective. My advice to others who are considering monthly giving is don’t give blindly. Come down and check it out and meet the people in the Café. Maybe volunteer for a couple hours and really see where your money is going because money is not wasted here. I know how frugally things are run and the money is well spent. And these people are God’s people”.
To become a Friend of HOPE House visit our Donate page today and choose the ‘Donate Monthly’ option.