Volunteer Spotlight is a new feature designed to help you get to know the people who give their time and talents at Open Door Resource Center to support the families of Wyandot County.  Our first spotlight is on Karen Wilch (pictured above with her granddaughter Katherine Rosalind Wilch).  Karen and her husband Ron are the proud parents of 3 sons.

Karen Wilch had no idea when she opened an envelope 4 years ago that it would change her life.  Wilch who routinely answers correspondence sent to her church, Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Upper Sandusky says this particular letter from a new organization in town called Open Door Resource Center “planted a seed” in her heart. 

“The letter mentioned that basic financial planning was going to be a part of what they were about.”  This intrigued Wilch who had recently finished her accounting degree program at Marion Technical College.  So much so that when she began applying for jobs in her field of study she knew she wanted to take one that would allow her to volunteer at Open Door.“ During my interview, I was upfront about wanting to do that” she added, something that Karen’s current employer Upper Sandusky based CPA Gary Ward has been “very supportive of.”

Not long after, Mrs. Wilch began serving as one of the teachers of Open Door’s class on budgeting and financial planning while also holding a position on the Board of Directors as the agency’s treasurer.  She describes her time with Open Door as a “very rewarding experience” in which she often feels “more blessed than the people who come in seeking help.”

Since she also handles preliminary client assessment interviews she has been present for many a moment when she has seen “the look that people get when you let them know that you are going to assist them or connect them to other resources that can.”  According to Wilch, these sessions often end in both her and her client “shedding tears of joy, especially when we pray.”

Another rewarding aspect of her time at Open Door has been the opportunity to work alongside people she describes as “a dedicated, great group who show a lot of compassion and the love of Christ.”  In the end, though, the main thing that keeps Karen coming back to serve at Open Door is the knowledge that she is using her gifts and talents to serve others.  “God put me here” she said “because I wanted to help.”