Volunteer Spotlight: Karen

Meet Karen Matthews, Office & Technology Volunteer

Karen started volunteering at CMC after transitioning from full-time work at Transamerica to part-time, with the goal of pursuing activities she wanted to do, like volunteering!

“It was always in my mind to find some volunteer opportunities, and I was familiar with the Catherine McAuley Center through a number of friends who are volunteer tutors. Everybody that tutors here loves it; it’s a go to environment for volunteering.”

While tutoring sounded fun, Karen thought her skills might be better put to use on the administrative side of things, particularly in providing technology support. Karen explains, “My work background has always been more on technology, but from the business user perspective. So, I have always prided myself in understanding what the business needs, then trying to translate that into the technological.”

When she contacted CMC to explore the possibility of contributing her tech skills, everyone was thrilled to hear that she had 10 years of experience using Salesforce, the program CMC relies on as its internal database. Now, Karen volunteers for three hours every week and describes it as liberating, putting her knowledge to use on behalf of CMC.

“For me, it’s fun, it’s not work. Although I work in Salesforce all day long at my job, to come here and do the same thing, it just feels freeing and fun. So that’s why, that’s my moment every day, I can come here and volunteer for three hours.”

One of the best parts of her volunteer role is brainstorming and working with Jon Harper, Technology Specialist. “I love it when he is getting up on the whiteboard, and once he’s got that dry erase marker in his hand, I know we are up to something good,” Karen says.

Interacting with CMC staff and being able to show them things that may make their jobs easier is rewarding for Karen; she likes to be able to provide high-quality, highly skilled talent at no cost. She understands that giving her time is valuable to the organization and to the staff. “The volunteer is a gift, and I think here they treat you that way always,” she says. “Everybody is so flexible, so patient.”

Karen plans to continue using her passion for data to serve CMC and hopes to be able to do more face-to-face training with staff members to help them use Salesforce more efficiently. To her, this is a “self-care” volunteer opportunity, helping an organization that she believes in.

Thank you, Karen!