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Why I Volunteer

Elaine

A Simple Prayer Leads to Life of Service

“God, use me and direct me.”

That prayer, uttered at a time of overwhelming grief, changed Elaine Ingle’s life. It set her on a path of service to others and led her to Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Today, her volunteer work for the agency touches countless lives. In 1992, Elaine lost her mother to a sudden heart attack. Then, just one day after her funeral, Elaine’s 17-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed in a biking accident.

Two tragedies, only days apart. Elaine was devastated. “It was such a humbling time,” Elaine said. “But I believe God empties us before he can fill us. So one day I found myself on my knees in church, praying for help. My simple prayer led to the service I am doing today. I feel called to reach out to others in need.”

Elaine took on new roles at her church, St. Rose of Lima in Savannah, Missouri. She became the music director, then choir director, then Confirmation director. When her youth group held a diaper drive for Catholic Charities, Elaine was impressed by the agency’s wide range of services to so many people. “Until then, I was not really aware of all the wonderful things Catholic Charities does,” said Elaine.

Since that time, Elaine has volunteered tirelessly – holding diaper drives, supporting benefit dinners, and championing our services to bring in thousands of dollars in donations. “She lives the Catholic Charities mission statement every day,” Catholic Charities case manager Marianne Brachman said.

One of Elaine’s favorite sayings comes from Mother Teresa. “She said, ‘Be someone for somebody.’ Catholic Charities is that someone, for anybody who has a need.”

“I’m happy to be part of that.”

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