March - Linda Nickles
The heart and soul of a great community lies within dedicated people who devote their time and energy into making it a better place. Recently, Linda Nickles was recognized for her commitment to our community as United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton’s Volunteers of the Month! Linda was surprised by fellow Servant Hearts Clinic volunteers, along with several family members, during a recent clinic night.
According to Frani Kieffer, Servant Heart Clinic Executive Director, “Linda is truly the heart and soul of Servant Hearts Clinic. Her warm and caring personality are the first thing patients encounter when they arrive and when they leave. Linda is always going above and beyond to make our clinic warm and inviting for all patients.”
We asked Linda to share in her own words more about her volunteer efforts at Servant Hearts Clinic and throughout the greater Yankton community.
I have lived here in the Yankton Area Since 1966.
I began volunteering shortly after retirement in 2006.
I continue volunteering because I love interacting and helping people. As a Registered Nurse at the SD Human Services Center for 40 years I had excellent coworkers and extremely interesting patients. After retiring the opportunity came to work in the Calvary Baptist Church library. Then one Sunday I heard Jim Frerk speak about a new free medical clinic. I was chomping at the bit to sign up, as this was something I so wanted to be a part of. It is very rewarding to work around people and being helpful.
I volunteer approximately 452 hours per year, mainly with my church and Servant Hearts Clinic. I assist Calvary Baptist with many tasks, including the library, Vacation Bible School and I also co-chair the Kitchen Circle. At Servant Hearts Clinic I am the Registration Team Leader that includes many duties. First of all, what a great team to work with at Servant Hearts Clinic. Then the interaction I get when greeting the patients as they come in and also getting to know them when they return to other clinic nights is rewarding.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because I am doing what I love...being around people. I have always been a people person and so enjoy being able to feel helpful. I love the mission of Servant Hearts Clinic to treat the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being in the name of Jesus. The values of compassion, respect, love and hospitality are important to me also. At registration, we visit with the patients before they are called into rooms and we really get to know them.
My best volunteer experience is just being available and putting a smile on someone’s face. It just makes me feel good. I love people! We have a few jokesters at Servant Hearts Clinic that tease about when are we going to have coffee and cookies. And now, every once in a while, we have coffee with some treats.
The advice I would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is that no matter what your interest is, there is a volunteer job to fit what you love to do. The rewards are awesome. And you will make a difference in someone’s life.
As Maya Angelou stated, “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” and for Linda, she always leaves others feeling better than how she found them. Thank you, Linda, for making a difference for so many in our community!
For more information on local volunteer opportunities or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.