Service, commitment, and friendship: these are three words that best describe the volunteer servicethat Pat Clark and Gene Kalwei have given to Catholic Charities. Gene and Pat can be found on Thursday afternoons serving together in the food pantry in the Emergency Assistance Center at 87th Street. Together they have served for over 10 years and have developed a lasting friendship with one another and with other volunteers and CCNEK staff.
Gene Kalwei came to Catholic Charities as a volunteer in 2008 after retiring from a career of over 40 years in Information Systems. He worked for many years at both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and H&R Block. Gene works in the food pantry every Thursday afternoon unloading trucks and stocking shelves, but he also gives welcomed kindness to clients when he meets them with a smile at the back door with their food. Gene serves at monthly Saturday food drives where he is a store captain at the 95th/Antioch Hy-Vee store. He is responsible for setting up the food drives at this store, for mentoring other volunteers during the food drives and for loading up the food at the end of the day and bringing it to the 87th Street food pantry. Gene also volunteers at the annual CCNEK Golf Tournament. Gene is always willing to lend a hand when needed and picks up donated food from individuals and groups.
Pat Clark has been a volunteer at the food pantry for four and a half years. He retired from a career at JC Penney where he worked for 37 years. Pat currently manages the Food Drives at six Hy-Vee stores in Johnson County. The food drives are run 100% with volunteers and Pat is invaluable in coordinating the volunteers, managing the store captains and maintaining a reputable relationship with the Hy-Vee stores and management. Pat also volunteers for the annual CCNEK Golf Tournament and lends a hand whenever he is needed. He will take part in the upcoming Mock Interviews at the Refugee and Migrant Services Department where he will serve as a volunteer interviewer and panel member.
Pat and Gene met at Catholic Charities four years ago when Pat began volunteering at the food pantry. They, along with their wives Cindy and Carolyn, have developed a strong and endearing friendship. Please join the CCNEK Volunteer Department in congratulating them on their service!