Early on in their marriage, David and Patricia Walker discovered that they enjoyed working together to help others. Whether it was participating in a holiday gift drive or donating blood, the Walkers were proud to help make a difference in the lives of others.
As their family expanded, they were able to get even more involved in community service.
“We became more involved when our four kids began participating in local activities, such as school groups, sports teams, and scouting,” said David. “Our three sons are Eagle Scouts, which got them heavily involved in service work. Our daughter was a Girl Scout up until high school and we had the pleasure of being her troop’s ‘cookie mom’ for a couple of years.”
Giving Back as a Family
The more they volunteered, the more they realized how much they loved it. It motivated them to look for additional opportunities to give back.
“We began donating meals to Caring for Friends, a food bank and senior meals program. We learned we could easily fill a need by packing up extra meals and delivering them to a local church to be distributed to people in the community,” David said. “It was a small effort for us but beneficial to the recipients.”
As parents, it was important for them to give back as a family.
“Through volunteering, we wanted our kids to learn to see things through to the end,” said Patricia. “Most importantly, we wanted them to see the impact of helping others and making things better for those in need.”
The Couple That Volunteers Together, Stays Together
While the kids have all moved out and have their own families, David and Patricia have continued volunteering together as a couple. They even found support through a new extended family — the Blue Crew (Independence’s corporate volunteer program). David joined the Blue Crew after coming to Independence in 2015; Patricia joined the company and the Blue Crew almost two years ago.
“Since joining Independence, we have both enjoyed a culture that both supports and encourages volunteerism,” said David. “The first project we did together was at the Ronald McDonald House. Since then, we’ve participated in several more events.”
Patricia finds it especially meaningful to volunteer alongside David.
“Volunteering together is so much fun. It’s also a great way for us to spend time together,” said Patricia. “We also get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that our efforts will benefit someone else.”
Making a Virtual Impact
While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted most in-person volunteering, the Walkers are committed to finding ways to make an impact. In 2020, Patricia donated masks to local nursing homes and neighbors that she sewed herself.
The Blue Crew has also remained steadfast in its support of local organizations. They have offered virtual volunteer opportunities so that associates can safely support their community from the comfort of their own home.
Through the Blue Crew, the Walkers have completed several volunteer projects at home together. Most recently they assembled hospitality kits for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time at home, so volunteering is a welcome diversion,” said David. “Most importantly, the need is greater than it was before, so we just want to help whatever way we can.”