To say that Eileen Humphrey was a volunteer for Outreach International might be technically correct, but it would be far from accurate. We’re so grateful for all our supporters, and we never forget that we couldn’t exist without each and every one of them. And yet, Eileen’s volunteer story is genuinely something special.
Even before Eileen and Outreach found each other, she dedicated her life to others. And we want to dedicate this post to her, to share just a hint of the person she was. And as you read this, just keep in mind – it really is true.
A Life of Service
In her professional career, Eileen taught special education and first grade. And for the last 12 years before she retired, she worked with students who were striving to earn their GED. She would then continue to support them, helping them find employment. She and her husband John both worked full-time while building a life of contentment, and a big, happy family of five children.
Eileen and John first started to donate to the Outreach mission in 1976, which was before we were even known as Outreach International. In 1990, still working, volunteering, and supporting so much around her, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This presented a serious challenge in their lives. But staying true to their character, they faced the challenge with a positive outlook and decided to retire from their careers and start something new.
An Atypical Retirement
Upon their retirement, John and Eileen Humphrey decided to make a drastic change. They shook things up entirely and moved from their long-time home in Houston to the Kansas City area so they could live near our international offices. They did this so they could work for Outreach as full-time volunteers. After a career of selfless work, and new obstacles that may have given some people pause, they chose to rededicate themselves to Outreach International’s mission to fight poverty.
Over the next nearly 20 years, Eileen helped establish and manage the Outreach Volunteer Network – a network that still exists today. Eileen served as Educational Service Coordinator, Development Specialist, and Volunteer Coordinator. She also worked to support communication and engagement with many of our Outreach major donors. On one particular fundraising program, lasting several years, she helped raise nearly one million dollars.
The Outreach Volunteer Network Makes It Possible
We at Outreach International love and appreciate all our volunteers, donors, and supporters. They are the reason we exist. They enable us to show people all around the world who are living in chronic and crushing poverty that they have the power within themselves to make their own lives better – to make their families’ lives better. We’re so grateful for such selflessness. We’re so energized to see our mission through. But when we get the privilege of such dedication from someone so truly special and unique, it really is humbling.
Thank You, Eileen Humphrey
The true satisfaction Eileen and John Humphrey found in their retired life was not to relax and focus on themselves. As they always had, they looked outward toward others. Retirement was just another opportunity to be selfless. As to doing this full-time work on a volunteer basis, she once said, “…not being paid employees was a real strength for us because people would know we really believed in the mission. They would know that it really mattered.”
How to Help
If you’re even nearly as inspired by the story of Eileen Humphrey as we are, find out more about how to get involved, to any degree that’s best for you. Visit our process page to learn about our methodology and why it’s so effective. Look at our How to Help pages and see how you, too, can make a real difference for the better in the world.