Gina Becke and her husband, Larry, joined St. Boniface in 2006. In addition to being a mother to Kyla, 11, and Logan, 6, Gina keeps busy with several volunteer positions at the church. Among them, she coordinates Diapers on a Mission, keeps the nursery organized, volunteers in the nursery on Wednesdays during Faith Formation, takes turns cleaning the children’s activity bags, and represents St. Boniface on the Waukee Area Christian Services Board, which oversees the food pantry, the community garden, and the free clinic. We asked Gina to share her experience and why she feels called to serve the church in so many ways.
When we first started attending mass at St. Boniface, I would look around and know no one. There wasn’t a sense of community when attending mass. I wanted to become more involved in church activities, and decided that a Christ Renews His Parish retreat would be a good opportunity to meet people. My CRHP retreat was in March of 2010, and then I continued to be involved with two CRHP teams after that. This was a rewarding experience, and it brought me closer to God and my church community. This was the much-needed connection that made me feel like I belonged at St. Boniface. The desire to be involved in more things just kept tugging at my heart, so I feel like I am doing now what I am called to do for the time being. In the future, it may change, but I always want to be able to serve others. It is very rewarding and I am so thankful for the opportunities that St. Boniface has to offer.
After being involved with CHRP, my first volunteer activity was at the food pantry. Once a month, I helped patrons “shop” for food, and I also stocked the shelves with new donations. My work at the food pantry evolved into being in charge of the big food drive that is held at St. Boniface every July, and after that, I stepped up and became a board member at Waukee Area Christian Services. From there I continued to add different volunteer opportunities that fit my schedule.
I’m inspired to serve the church community through these volunteer activities because I feel like I am giving back. It only takes one person to make a difference and you never know…that person could be you! I try to be a good example for my children as well, because I feel like they need to see me serve others so they can do the same thing when they get older. I often take my daughter to the food pantry to volunteer, and it is very eye opening for her. One time, she saw her friend receiving services there, so that is when things hit close to home. You never know who you are going to help or what impact it might make on that person’s day. The patrons are there for help, and we are there to serve them in a loving, caring way.
I do all of these things because I enjoy them. The reward far outweighs the tasks that I do and the time I spend doing them. I encourage others to go beyond their “safe” zone and volunteer for one thing to begin with. It’s hard to take the first step, but when you do, you get involved in the parish family and you feel the puzzle pieces fitting together to a more spiritual, meaningful life. The life that God wants us to lead.