Volunteer Spotlight: Suzanne Franklin

How long have you been volunteering? 

Since I retired I have been an active volunteer for Heart to Heart International (HHI), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as a Research Assistant, a Greeter at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and I work in the phone rooms during the pledge drives for KCUR public radio and KWJC Classical KC Radio in Kansas City. Previously I volunteered for the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the Johnson County  Arts and Heritage Center, both in Overland Park.  

Why did you start? 

Even before I was vaccinated I knew I wanted to help at the vaccination clinics. I applied to be a volunteer with HHI in time to start volunteering as soon as I was fully vaccinated. I divided my time between three different locations as a non-medical volunteer and was able to experience several different tasks in the clinics from helping people check in, helping them complete the paperwork, checking them out, and observing those in the waiting area after their vaccinations. Once the large clinics suspended operations, I was invited to help assemble Personal Hygiene Kits at the HHI warehouse in Olathe, KS and have tried to participate in that activity at least once a week (except when I was deployed to Las Vegas of course. I hope to get back at the warehouse soon).

What do you like about it?

I enjoy helping people, and I couldn’t think of a better way for me to help during the pandemic. I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and for, many wonderful people I otherwise never would have met. 

What is it about the Heart to Heart International’s cause that is inspiring?

There are many things about HHI that are inspiring. Their values can be summarized by remembering PEPSI – Passionate about creating a healthier world, Enterprisingand innovative in providing services, Partnerships which maximize their impact, Sustainability efforts which enable communities to more effectively respond to disasters in the future, and Inclusion to be sure all who want to improve or receive healthcare are able to do so. 

Their Mission and Values are in close alignment with my own, and they are extremely careful to maximize their finances and resources to ensure the majority of their money and resources are used to help people and not spent on overhead. In 2020 alone they responded to 16 disasters – hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and explosions – a 23% increase from 2019 and all during a global pandemic.

What do you tell your friends/family about Heart to Heart International?

In 1992 HHI was started by one man who saw a need and did something about it. Since that time HHI has positively impacted millions all over the world. You can do something locally to help globally. 

I encourage anyone who is interested in HHI to visit Home Page – Heart to Heart International