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Jane Kalmbach, serving your community...

When you live in a small community like our own, it is important to promote activities and programs that are focused toward helping and teaching the children. For Jane Kalmbach, the youth are her inspiration when she volunteers her time.

6/19/18 (Tue)

When you live in a small community like our own, it is important to promote activities and programs that are focused toward helping and teaching the children. For Jane Kalmbach, the youth are her inspiration when she volunteers her time.

Kalmbach serves the community in two ways; first through the Kenmare Food Pantry which she has also started the backpack program, and second, through the Kenmare Summer Arts program.

Impressively, Kalmbach has been volunteering her time to the food pantry for more than 23 years.  Although the food pantry is a government program, it does not receive much funding. Kalmbach spends a lot of her time writing grants, filling out government and client paper work, ordering food, finding donations and now lining up backpacks. Although it is a lot of work, she says she receives amazing help.

According to Kalmbach, “the churches and Thrivent members generously donate and Arlen Gartner is always finding (me) good deals.” She also receives help through great volunteers; such has the Kenmare student council, who volunteered with the backpack program every week this past school year.

When asked why she continues to volunteer with the food pantry, Kalmbach responded, “Every once in a while you receive a hug from somebody or an anonymous donation and you know that some people really do care and believe in the program. Hopefully the day will come when nobody needs it.”

The Summer Arts Program was a dream of Kalmbach and Caroline Downs. They started the summer program more than 10 years ago. Kalmbach believes “that all youth should have the opportunity to partake in different extracurricular activities and maybe they are not sports orientated.” Downs has since moved to Alaska, however Kalmbach continues to run the summer arts program with the help of new volunteers who run classes.

Like the food pantry, Kalmbach spends much of her time writing grants for the arts program, however, she also receives a majority of her funding through Vet’s Gaming.

Kalmbach is truly passionate about the arts, so it brings her joy to see the kids getting excited and enjoying the activities. The Kenmare Summer Arts program is almost free to all youth and runs four to six weeks. The program consists of numerous forms of art, such as painting, writing, and dance.

Kalmbach is most rewarded by seeing the youth involved in both of her programs, whether they are volunteering or clients. She will admit that she is not one to ask for help, however volunteers are always welcome.

“You’ll feel better about yourself; you get what you give,” Kalmbach said.  “Give a little back and you will be rewarded someway, somehow, someday.”

Editor’s Note: If you know someone who deserves some extra recognition for their volunteer work in the community, please contact Taylor Eckleberry at The Kenmare News.

Phone 701-385-4275 or email: news@kenmarend.com ... 

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