Another Reason to Volunteer. Meet Cathy.
Another Reason to Volunteer. Meet Cathy. Cathy is one of our many amazing volunteers. She spends her time giving to the Good Shepherd Community by working in our Northern Delights store. Cathy agreed to share her story about the way volunteering has made a difference in her life. Here is Cathy’s story in her own words.
“In 1997, a car accident led to several back surgeries and many years of rehab. I was told I would never walk again. Depression set in. I was taking pain medication and anti-depression medication. Both had side effects that were making me feel like a zombie. Even with all that going on, I did finally get back on my feet. I started with a walker and progressed to a cane. Although that was positive, I still felt like a walking drug store and my depression was debilitating. I had to have a home health aide come in twice a week because I couldn’t clean my own home, open my mail, or pay bills. I just didn’t care. I was also receiving assistance from Catholic Charities and Hope Community Services. Having all the help added to my depression because I felt ashamed. It was a vicious cycle and I was stuck.
About five years ago, I was pushed into volunteering, yes, PUSHED and even dragged a little. Then I met Jenny Zimmer, the volunteer coordinator at Good Shepherd. Jenny wanted me to volunteer at the Northern Delights store. She wanted ME, she needed ME. I was shocked! Soon I met Janette who showed me around Northern Delights. She taught me how to use the iPad and the cash register and then she left! She trusted me! She came back shortly, showed me a few other things, and then left again. I thought to myself, “Should I tell her I don’t even open my own mail? No, she trusts me. I’m not going to let her down.” I couldn’t believe Janette would want me in the store. I felt so worthless. I decided I had to dig down deep and find the strong woman I used to be because I was needed.
Five years later, I’m off pain medication and take a smaller dose of anti-depression medication. Although I’m grateful, I no longer need assistance from outside people. I’m able to take care of myself and my home now. Volunteering at Good Shepherd in the Northern Delights store has gotten me to this point. I’m surrounded by kind people who trust me and depend on me. They are the reason I’ve overcome so much in my life.”