“See a need. Fill a need.” It’s how I’ve always lived my life.
There are people who are born with something inside them to live in service to others. I am one of those people. When I was young, my friends and I would play “school,” but I was never the teacher or student. I was always the social worker! Being a voice for those in need is just who I am.
My VOA story begins in 2001, working as a program manager for Disability Services. I knew I was filling a need for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and I found joy.
In 2012, my family and I opened a nonprofit thrift store to fill a need for the south Everett community, and I found purpose. After four years, we decided to close it, but I never quit searching for needs I could fill.
In 2016, I began overseeing the Meaningful Day program, which allows our Disability Services clients to take field trips, experience music therapy, and have social activities, and I found a mission. With the help of my team, I converted it from a few bare tables in a white room to a warm, inviting place where our clients loved to visit.
In 2020, Meaningful Day was forced to close as the COVID pandemic developed. Like many, I used time to reflect, and I found direction. There is still so much good to do in the world.
Whatever role I may find myself in, I know that the support of our leadership, my team members, and our community are what will keep that fire inside burning bright. And I plan to retire here. I am VOA through and through.
This year, I will begin serving with VOA as a program manager for our thrift store opening in Sultan. I have found a new determination to serve. To do work that matters. To fill a need.
Kim Biegel is the Program Manager for the new Thrift Store in Sultan opening in September and has been with VOA in various capacities since 2001.