Meet Our Volunteers
A CAP Volunteer is “a dreamer, a worker, a prayerful person, a person who makes a difference.” Father Ralph Beiting (1924-2012), Founder of Christian Appalachian Project
Christian Appalachian Project is blessed to have more than 50 long-term volunteers who have made a commitment of 12 months or longer to serve in Eastern Kentucky. Motivated by a faith that demands action, these volunteers come from all walks of life, but are united by a desire to be the hands and feet of Christ in Appalachia. Many of these volunteers are available to speak to potential long-term volunteers. If you would like to talk to a current volunteer about long-term service at CAP, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most long-term volunteers make a commitment of 12 months, beginning in August/September or January.
Johnathan came to CAP from Indiana thanks to the recommendation of his high school band teacher, a former CAP Volunteer. Johnathan lives in the Johnson Volunteer House and serves in the Housing program. He will be spending the year “meeting new people and getting closer to God.”
Lainie came to CAP after getting her degree in Animal Science from Washington State University and working at an environmental education center. She serves in the Elderly Housing program and lives at the Rockcastle Volunteer House. She came to CAP because she “would like to live a life of service.” Lainie was referred to CAP by her mother, a CAP donor.
Ron came to CAP after spending time as a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order and serving in the Capuchin Volunteer Corps. A graduate of John Carroll University, Ron is volunteering with CAP because he has “a desire to serve and help the vulnerable.” Ron found CAP through the Catholic Volunteer Network. He lives in the Floyd Volunteer House and volunteers in the Housing program.
Beth came to CAP after working for 30 years in the medical office field in Lexington. She is hoping to learn “how to be an ‘active’ servant in helping show Christ’s love and compassion to those in need.” She learned about CAP at a festival booth. Beth serves at the Grateful Threadz thrift store and lives independently with her husband Steve.
Steve came to CAP from Lexington, where he worked full-time and was a “board member, home group leader, usher and toilet bowl cleaner” for his church. He is volunteering with CAP because he likes “the fact that you (CAP) minister to people’s practical needs as well as spiritual and that we can do both.” Steve serves at the Grateful Bread Food Pantry and lives independently with his wife Beth (who also told him about CAP).
Erika came to CAP from Illinois. She hopes to learn “how to serve others and become people-oriented.” Erika serves in the Housing program and lives at the Mt. Vernon Volunteer House. Erika found CAP through an internet search.
Jake came to CAP from Iowa. He came to CAP as a short-term volunteer in September and decided to serve for a full year. Jake lives in the Jackson House and serves in the Housing program. Jake found out about CAP from United Methodist Volunteers in Mission.
Kate recently earned her degree in Psychology from Assumption College in Massachusetts, her home state. In August 2012, Kate began a year of service with Eagle Child and Family Development Center and joined the McCreary Volunteer Community. “I want to experience a new part of the country and challenge myself to explore what it means to practice the Christian way of living,” Kate says. “I’ve gone to Catholic school my whole life, and the fact that CAP is a kind of multi-denominational, ecumenical approach is appealing. I’m hoping to open up my own faith life, learn about different approaches, and understand how we all can work better together to fight poverty and isolation.”
Christine arrived in August 2012 from Litchfield, Ohio. A graduate of Hiram College with a degree in Accounting and Financial Management, Christine lives in the Jackson Volunteer Community and serves in Elderly Services. She heard about CAP from Catholic Volunteer Network.
Also arriving in August 2012, Erin serves in the Family Life Child and Family Development Center and is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community. She recently earned her degree in Early Childhood Studies from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. ”I am hoping to learn more about God, and his heart for poverty and justice through serving with CAP,” Erin says. She was attracted to CAP in part because of the emphasis on community living.
Kirby recently graduated from Bellarmine University with a degree in Psychology. From Cincinnati, Kirby served with CAP three times through Bellarmine’s alternative spring break program. She looks forward to serving with Family Advocacy and living in the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community. “I enjoy helping others and want to grow deeper in my faith,” Kirby says. “CAP stood out because its volunteers served in community in a rural part of the country that doesn’t get much attention.” Kirby joined CAP in July 2012.
Christina joined CAP from Hamilton, Ohio, in August 2012, fresh off of earning her degree in Psychology from Miami University of Ohio. Christina is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community and serves in Elderly Services. She learned of CAP through an internet search. “I want to make a difference in Appalachia and grow in community with others,” says Christina. “I am hoping to learn more about living in community and to grow closer with God.”
Lauren first came to CAP for WorkFest (CAP’s alternative spring break program) in 2011, and then served with us as a short-term volunteer that summer. Lauren returned in July 2012 as a long-term volunteer advocating for domestic violence survivors. Lauren is from Rhode Island and recently graduated from American University, majoring in Law and Society. “I’m hoping to learn more about God’s presence in people’s lives during hardship,” Lauren says. “Serving in a domestic violence shelter, I am constantly surrounded by poverty greater than a lack of resources or income, but a poverty of betrayal, of feeling unloved, of being alone. We have the opportunity to fight poverty in this form each and every day by establishing a community of survivors to support one another throughout their healing process and help them to become safe and get back on their feet.”
Pam began her service in July 2012 as an Elderly Services caseworker. From Salem, Oregon, Pam says she made the move to Kentucky because ”I am hoping to grow in my relationship with the Lord and my understanding of loving service to and fellowship with others, be they participants or other CAP Volunteers/staff. I want to learn to be vulnerable with others and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am hoping to learn how to care less about my own comforts and more about the comfort of others.” Pam is a member of the Johnson Volunteer Community.
Cindy, who began her service in September 2012, is from Ohio but has family in the area. She recently retired from teaching and writes that she was attracted to CAP in part because “I have always wanted to be a missionary. I want to honor God in a more real way than I felt I was doing before.” Cindy serves in CAP’s Human Resources office, taking on special projects and helping to coordinate CAP’s Wellness initiative for employees and volunteers. Cindy lives independent of a volunteer house.
Sam comes to CAP from Arizona and is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University with a degree in Applied Science. She joined CAP Volunteers in August 2012 and serves in the Grateful Bread Food Pantry. Sam chose CAP primarily because of its location. “I’m from a place the size of Lexington but have always been drawn to small town living,” she says. “CAP was an amazing opportunity.” Sam is a member of the Rockcastle Volunteer Community.
Jess began her service in September 2012 as a Housing crew member. From Milford, Pennsylvania, Jess decided to put her studies at East Stroudsburg University on hold to do a year of service. “I am volunteering with CAP because I want to contribute to making others’ quality of life a little bit better,” Jess says. “It’s a hands-on project with the people you are helping and a tighter community you are embraced in.” Jess is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community.
Emily joined CAP as a Camp Shawnee volunteer and realized that long-term service was for her. She began her year-long commitment as an Elderly Services caseworker in September 2012. Originally from St. Louis, Emily now calls the Floyd Volunteer House home. “I am volunteering with CAP because I love serving the Lord and all His people,” Emily says. “I love the mountains and all the precious people who call Kentucky home. I am so blessed to serve with CAP in doing the Lord’s work. It is encouraging to be in an organization full of people committed to investing in these people and sharing the love of Christ. CAP is a great display of the Body of Christ in action, with each person using their God-given talents and gifts, working together for God’s greater plan.”
Burnell (Bunny) C.
Bunny recently retired from teaching to volunteer with CAP as a Family Advocacy caseworker, arriving in September 2012. From the state of Washington, Bunny will call McCreary House home for the next year. ”I am volunteering with CAP because as I looked into the program I felt drawn to it,” Bunny says. “I wanted to serve God in this way and it just seemed to fit me.”
Bryan is taking a hiatus from his studies at College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University to volunteer for a year in CAP’s Housing program. The Minnesota native began his service early as a camp counselor at Camp Shawnee and began his year in Housing in August 2012. ”I would like to learn how to better serve others,” Bryan says. “I want to learn about my participants and how I can be of help to them both while I am at CAP and after CAP for people also in need.” Bryan is a member of the Johnson Volunteer Community.
Allison, from Lebanon, Ohio, was studying at Xavier University when she heard the call to volunteer for a year. She began her service at Grateful Bread Food pantry in August 2012. She chose CAP in part because of its “Christ-centeredness.” Allison is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community.
Molly volunteered at Camp AJ for two summers, and is now a one-year volunteer at Camp, teaching practical living in elementary schools and serving at a community center. Prior to becoming a long-term CAP Volunteer, Molly served two years in Micronesia with Jesuit Volunteers International. Molly is from Woburn, Massachusetts and is now a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community.
Jaylyn joined CAP from Loveland, Ohio in August 2012. The recent high school graduate serves in the Family Life Child and Family Development Center and is a member of the Rockcastle Volunteer Community.
Outstanding volunteers are encouraged to apply for another one-year term of service with CAP.
Daniel, from Salinas, California, came to CAP in January 2012. In his first year, he served in CAP’s Housing program. Now a second-year volunteer, Daniel has switched gears to become CAP’s Volunteer Recruiter, answering your questions and visiting college campuses. Daniel is a member of Rockcastle Volunteer Community. You can reach him at email@example.com.
“It’s where I feel I am called to be right now,” says Greg of his service with CAP. Greg is a Louisville, Kentucky, native, though he is very clear that he “bleeds” Kentucky Wildcat Blue. He serves in Educational and Recreational programming and lives at Camp Shawnee. Greg began his service in January 2012.
Jimmy came to CAP in July 2011 all the way from Nevada, where he graduated from the University of Nevada–Reno. Jimmy taught GED preparation in his first year of service, and now serves with our Elderly Housing program. When asked what he is hoping to learn from his service, Jimmy explained he wanted to learn “how to be more human, more loving, more faithful, and more well-equipped for building God’s kingdom.” Jimmy lives in Floyd Volunteer House.
From Ohio, Erin earned her degree in Psychology and English from Loyola University Chicago in May before joining CAP in August 2011. Erin now lives in Jackson Volunteer House and serves at Camp Andrew Jackson. Erin was attracted to CAP in part of because of the Volunteer Program’s commitment to Service, Community, and Spirituality. “I believe that all three pillars are extremely important,” says Erin. “I want to make a difference in the lives of the people of Appalachia. I felt extremely welcome when I came to visit and I love the spirit of hospitality everyone at CAP shares.”
Kelsey arrived at CAP in August 2011 after earning her degree in business administration from James Madison University. Originally from New Jersey, Kelsey now lives in Johnson Volunteer House and serves in the Housing program. When asked why she chose CAP over other service programs, Kelsey emphasizes “the way they are committed to, and truly care for, their volunteers and the experience they will have. This was the #1 thing that made CAP stand out.”
“This is where God wants me to be,” says Sarah, a 2011 graduate of Bethel University. We can’t think of a better reason to volunteer. Sarah, originally from Minnesota, lives in Jackson Volunteer House. She served her first year as an Elderly Services caseworker and now volunteers as a Group Host for church groups who serve for a week with CAP. She’s volunteering not far from Beattyville, Kentucky, where she first volunteered in Appalachia on a mission trip with Cumberland Mountain Outreach. Sarah came to CAP in August 2011.
Eric graduated from Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio, before joining CAP in August 2011. Eric lives in Floyd Volunteer House and moved from Housing to Elderly Housing for his second year. He hopes to walk deeper in his faith while at CAP.
Joe worked for the post office for more than 30 years before joining CAP’s Elderly Housing program in September 2011. He came all the way from California and now lives independent of a volunteer house. Joe hopes to grow personally and spiritually from his time at CAP.
Janet has served several terms with CAP over the past 10 years, serving as an Elderly caseworker in several different counties. This time she’s in McCreary County and lives in the volunteer house there. Janet began her latest term in September 2011.
Third-year or longer volunteers
In rare instances, a volunteer will continue for more than two terms of service. The commitment is reviewed annually to ensure that another term of service will be mutually beneficial to CAP and the volunteer.
Mary is from Las Vegas, Nevada. She came to CAP as a long-term volunteer in September 2009, having previously volunteered on a short-term basis. Mary lives independent of a volunteer house and serves in CAP’s Groups program, hosting and preparing meals for volunteer groups that serve with CAP for a week.
Sarah graduated from Georgetown College in Kentucky before joining CAP in June 2010. She first came to CAP with her college for WorkFest. Sarah is serving at Grateful Threadz Thrift Store and is volunteering because “CAP sees the value in people for being people, human beings made in G-d’s image deserving of respect.” Sarah lives at Mt. Vernon Volunteer House.
Kristi, from Des Moines, Washington, was living in community with a group of sisters in Pittsburgh before joining the CAP volunteer community in August 2010. She served her first two years in Elderly Services and is now a Housing volunteer. Kristi hopes to “see Christ in everyone I meet” during her time with CAP. “I want to serve God’s people and this is where God has led me to be.” She lives in McCreary Volunteer House.
Jim, originally from Wichita, Kansas, did volunteer disaster relief work in New Orleans for several years before joining CAP in August 2010. Jim is now living in the Foley Mission Center and serves in the Housing program. He enjoys sharing his talents and abilities with others and hopes to “continue to give back” during his volunteer time with CAP.