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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Great People


Great People
I have the distinct honor and privilege to volunteer at an organization that is unlike any other (Second Helpings).  I am constantly in awe of the folks I am surrounded with on a daily basis.  Their backgrounds range from molecular scientists to medical doctors to engineers to ballet dancers to journalists and the like.  I love the diversity of cultures, ethnicity and occupations because it makes for great conversations and insight into the human conditions that reside within the Indianapolis region.

I am going to spotlight two in particular in my blog today as I’m an ardent admirer of them both.

My first volunteer “crush” if you will, is Nora Spitznoggle.  Nora is the operations manager of Second Helpings and she’s responsible for keeping the ovens, light, water, etc. running on a very limited budget as most of what Second Helping exists upon is the kindness of donors.  She does a spectacular job with what she has to work with but wait, there’s more. 

Nora isn’t one to dawdle or sit still for very long…she also waits tables/bar-tends on most Saturday nights at the Red Key Tavern, writes a musical column for NUVO, helps a friend out every other Sunday performing retail duties at a local dress shop (Marigold Clothing) as well as authoring a blog regarding all things Indy related.  She’s always attending concerts and musical events but is also an avid aficionado of the pugilistic arts.  Whew!  I’m tired just writing about her life.

Recently I was able to attend her 50th Birthday party on a Sunday evening and was floored at the production it turned out.  First the people just kept piling into a place called “The Jazz Kitchen”, so many in fact that I lost count at over a hundred.  The unique thing about the venue is that it is closed on Sunday’s but the owners opened it up just for Nora.  This speaks volumes to her character and her lovability factor which is extremely high.

Next, was the night’s entertainment which of course featured live music.  I wasn’t expecting the cavalcade of bands that ensued all singing songs dedicated to Nora or with Nora’s name interjected into the lyrics at some point.  It turned out to be a Norapalooza of all her friends in the Indy music business here in town and each successive band was quite impressive with their talent.

To be able to command this much respect from such talented groups and individuals all performing free and out of the goodness of their hearts just for Nora was a bit mind-blowing for me to comprehend.

My second volunteer “crush” is Maude Glore who is a volunteer driver/food delivery on Friday mornings along with my sister Cristal and me.  We met about a year ago and she has regaled me with story after story of her life and her passion of helping children throughout the Indianapolis area.

Maude is a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) that specializes in child services – particularly with the placement of children away from their natural parents into “better” situations or vice/versa.  She has told me stories that would make the gruffest of people cry.  Her passion for the kids is unmistakable and unwavering.  The heartache that she endures watching children separated from their loved ones is tragic and yet she shows up every Friday with a smile on her face and a skip in her step that is rare, rare indeed.

I wish I have the stamina, love, passion and steely resolve Maude possesses at her age which I can only guess is mid-60’s.  She is a rock-star and I admire her a great deal!

Here is a press release on her latest accomplishment:

LIVE UNITED Volunteer of the Year:  Maude E. Glore, an Indianapolis volunteer for Child Advocates Inc., is being honored for volunteering more than 360 hours in 2010. She represents the best interests of children in the foster care system who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. Glore worked with 23 children last year, almost four times the number of a typical volunteer. Besides a large case load, she was nominated for "an unrelenting doggedness in her search to find all information that might help the child's case," wrote her nominator.

Have a great day and never give up!

Mark (Sparky)

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