Katy Reeve, Class XXII
STARS, Development Associate & Volunteer Coordinator
Something that drives me crazy is the response, “I’m just so busy,” when asked about doing more for someone/something in need. Everyone makes time for what is important and everyone is busy. In my nonprofit career, along with my professional and personal development, I have the privilege of knowing some amazing individuals. These are people who have never uttered the phrase, “I’m just too busy.”
They are parents of seven children who start a nonprofit after their fifth child is born with Down syndrome because they want to help other new parents of babies with Down syndrome. They are marathon runners, cancer survivors, single mothers and volunteers…all at the same time. These are real and amazing people.
Then there is one woman who always amazes me. To call her inspiring isn’t enough, but I don’t know what else to call her.
Stephanie Kundin-Krinetz is beautiful, young, a successful business professional, a mother of two little boys and she is an avid runner. While these are impressive stats, they are not what makes me stop and reevaluate my own purpose.
I met Stephanie through her involvement with STARS’ board of directors. She also gives unselfishly of her time and talents to several other organizations in our community. Stephanie is someone who follows through, is reliable and dedicated. She is that board member who responds to emails in the middle of the night. She keeps her promises and her word means so much to those around her. But, while she was doing all of these things, Stephanie was battling a serious illness.
This amazing young leader was told, at 28 years old, that she would need a kidney transplant one day. In the time I have known Stephanie, she has had a few “almost” transplants. I think everyone around her showed much greater disappointment than she ever did. A simple post on Facebook to let everyone know the surgery was called off, with an optimistic tone, was all I saw. On one occasion, Stephanie actually brought someone to tour STARS because “I didn’t have anything else scheduled,” after her transplant surgery was cancelled. Finally, in spring of 2011, she received her pancreas and kidney transplant surgery.
There isn’t one thing that makes Stephanie something we should all strive to become; it is that she is so many things in one.
In the words of this amazing woman: “I always ask myself, ‘If service is the rent you pay for your existence on this earth, are you behind in your rent?’ My answer: ‘Never have been and never will be.’”
I hope others will evaluate their use of the term “busy” the next time someone asks for help. If we are fortunate enough to be in a position of helping, rather than asking for help, we should always take care to not get behind on our rent.