Couple enjoys donating time together
Husband and wife duo Cindy and Mike McKnelly bring energy to Ozarks Food Harvest when they volunteer. Although the Tuesday night volunteer session begins at 6 p.m., their positive and joyful spirits would lead onlookers to believe that their day was just beginning.
Cindy and Mike began volunteering once a month at Ozarks Food Harvest in September. Cindy’s job as an administrative director for physician billing at CoxHealth requires volunteer hours. She brought Mike along, and since they loved the experience, the two decided to increase to three volunteer sessions a month.
“I like it because we’re up, we’re moving, we’re doing things,” Cindy said. “It’s not sitting there, I like the hands on. It helps me escape because I don’t have to think a lot about everything … You get to talk to people, you get to know other individuals.”
“And you aren’t doing it for yourself, it’s something that you are doing for another purpose. I do it because it’s fun and it helps people and we have a good time.”
Cindy and Mike met at age 19 through their parents involvement with car racing. They got married at age 20 and have been married for 36 years now. The two have lived in Springfield since 1983 and believe that investing in the well-being of the Springfield community is important.
“You have to live within the community, so you do want to see it prosper and you do want to see it grow, and you do want to see a lot of the hunger issues and the homeless issues get resolved,” Mike said. “It’s not that we are going to solve it all here and [that volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest] is going to take care of all of it, but it’s at least a little part of it.
“And if everyone did a little bit, it probably wouldn’t take that much. But you’ve got to start somewhere. This is our part.”
The McKnellys expressed how they value time spent together, whether it’s through volunteering or by spending time at their condo at Lake of the Ozarks.
“We enjoy doing a lot of things together. Getting to hang out with her is fun for me,” Mike said, smiling at his wife. “We get to spend three hours together, and often spend the ride home together.”
Cindy added, “For a lot of couples, the kids are what their time is spent on, and when the children leave they don’t have things that they do together anymore. Volunteering is one of those things you can do together.”
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