In 2016, about a year after we had our son, Lincoln, our family moved to Kimberly (which is where I grew up). The fire department there was looking for volunteers, and it was a perfect fit for my husband, Tyler — he's been a volunteer firefighter for 10 years.
Kimberly Fire Department is our family, and Tyler is honored to be a part of it because he loves helping to protect the people in Kimberly. Like many small-town fire departments, however, KFD needs support from the community. So a group of firefighter spouses — the "Fire Flies" — plan and help with events to raise money for the department. We've done car washes, an annual open house with raffles and bake sales, even a bean-bag-toss tournament.
I love helping where I can, and it really makes a difference. For example, our town hadn't put on a fireworks show since the Kimberly Recreation Department had to cancel the event in 2012. Thanks to the fundraising work of the community and KFD, our first annual "Firefighters for Fireworks" was held in 2016. That meant a lot to the people here.
We're lucky to have someone like Diedrich Family Insurance Agency owner Wendy Diedrich on our side — she not only supports my volunteering with KFD, but also encourages my work with other nonprofits. Wendy even provides paid time for me to volunteer during work hours. The agency sponsors a lot of community events and organizations, and sometimes our clients get involved, too.
I have discovered that if you find something you're passionate about, you can always find time to help. Even if you don't know where to start, talk to family or friends — someone may already be involved with an organization that interests you, and you won't know until you start talking about it. Then, just go for it!
Learn more about our winners: