Volunteers are one of the most critical components of International Samaritan’s success. While many of them are volunteers on service learning immersion experiences, we are lucky to have a few that make time to serve our mission on a weekly basis, right here in Ann Arbor. One of them is Rita Kieras, a volunteer bookkeeper who has been with the team since 2008.
Rita first found out about International Samaritan when she participated in a service learning immersion experience in 2007. She traveled with us and found herself inspired to “do something more to help”. Rita had just retired earlier that year, and with her new flexible schedule, she found that serving in the office was a good fit.
She started out with assisting on miscellaneous office projects and when a bookkeeping opportunity arose, she went for it. “I really enjoy bookkeeping and had done it for a few other organizations,” she said. She felt like it was a perfect match of her skills, interests, and desire to continue serving. As an added bonus, Rita thinks very highly of the staff that she works with on a regular basis. “They are so hard working and appreciative. It’s a great environment to be in,” she says.
While Rita had good timing with retirement to take on regular service duties, she still has a busy schedule. “When you have a real desire to help out, you find a way to make time,” she says. Her motivation is not only that she found something that she enjoys on a personal level but also fulfills what she feels is the lesson taught by Jesus to care for the poor.
The International Samaritan staff cannot thank Rita enough for her contribution, which she often understates. We are blessed to have her on our team for six years and look forward to many more.