Volunteerism in Michiana

By: Robert Borrelli and Don Schoenfeld
By: Robert Borrelli and Don Schoenfeld

For the past seven winters, there's been a banner hanging at ken's studio hair in downtown Mishawaka, promoting the annual benefit for hospice. Ken Coddens is the organizer.

"Hospice is an organization that helps many people it covers a big area about five counties," he says. "It’s something that we take pride in helping a lot of people in the area not just myself but my staff works hard at it."

Coddens and his staff are like many community volunteers, simply people who enjoy helping other people.

“I think that people have this inner core in their being to give, to give of themselves,” says Sister Linda Kors.

She is part of CAVCO, the Community Association of Volunteer Coordinators.

It's a group that shares ideas on volunteering and how to do it better. They find ways to help community organizations by using volunteers.

"Many of the activities in this whole community wouldn't happen without volunteers. Because you would not have many of your walkathons, you wouldn't have Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity. Even in churches you would not have this basic ministry that is there."

For Coddens, his dedication to hospice has been challenging during the past two years, as he fights cancer for the third time.

“It's been an uphill battle, but the thing that is neat about it is the encouragement I got from my doctors, my wife, from my kids, my staff here has been outstanding.
And the friends and support I had from the community just unbelievable, the prayers from people I did not know it was amazing."

The money Ken and his staff collect from the benefit doesn't compare what ken gets in return.

"Anytime you can help someone else, get them going in the right direction, the rewards are just
Unbelievable, so if you got that thought in your mind to go out and help somebody go out and do it."

You can help out, too. The hospice benefit hosted by Ken’s Hair Studio is February 17 at the Mishawaka F.O.P. Lodge.

Dinner and dancing starts at 5:30pm and tickets are 25 dollars a person.

Call 255-6500 to reserve your tickets.

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