One of Christian author Alyice Edrich's favorite topics is "a servant's heart," which is one of life's intangibles that fits quite nicely into any descriptive portrait of Dorothy Yackley.
"It doesn't matter what you own, how much money you have in the bank, how talented or educated you are, or how many people you know," Edrich writes. "If God calls you to have a servant's heart, he will make a way for you to accomplish what he has put on your heart to do. A servant's heart has more to do with your relationship with God than it has to do with your desire to be recognized for your good deeds."
Dorothy, who is now 68, has never sought attention or a spotlight for her practices, but since she was young, the act of helping others has always come as natural as taking her next breath.
Even Dorothy's position in the workforce for 30 years reflected her desire to serve. She worked at Blessing Hospital over those three decades. Her background as a licensed practical nurse and surgical technician was a natural steppingstone for future volunteering interests and roles in the community. From helping fellow seniors get safely to and from doctor appointments to volunteering with the local Red Cross, Dorothy does it all with a warm smile, a soft voice – and a servant's heart.
"After I had retired from Blessing Hospital, I started volunteering with the Red Cross. Lately I have been helping coordinate the volunteers from our area who are on the East Coast helping those who were hit by the hurricane. I also go to Peoria, Bloomington and other sites in Illinois and Missouri to get (supplies) for food pantries."
"I've gone on mission trips with others from the Apostolic Christian Church in Taylor (Mo.), including two times to Haiti. I love to travel and have also been to Israel and South America."
"There is so much to see in Israel. I was there in 2003 and 2006. It was nice to see areas where Jesus walked. There was too much to try and remember from the first trip that I wanted to go back. A lot of the terrain there makes you wonder how they can grow anything. People would be surprised at how small of a country Israel actually is."
"I lived in Taylor, Mo., most of my life. I moved to Quincy (earlier this year) and wanted to be on the north end of town so I would be closer to the Red Cross, but I ended up finding a place on the south end, and I'm still five miles from the Red Cross."
"I also help out with the Digital Disciples with First Christian Church in Quincy. They help people learn some of the basic computer skills free of charge. I got involved first as a student. I now volunteer there and help as an instructor. I also volunteer with RSVP."
"I come from a family of seven other brothers and sisters, and grew up volunteering in church. A lot of my family members have also done a lot of volunteering over the years."
"More than 20 years I have worked with (The Herald-Whig's) Good News of Christmas. I think I have only missed two years. I think that it's worked out well, especially after they started parceling more things out to more people, rather than a whole lot to fewer people like they did early on."
"There are some days I feel like I have too many plates in the air, but they say, ask a busy person to get something done, and they will find a way. Staying busy helps keep me out of trouble."
"God's blessed me in so many ways, I've just always wanted to use my time, talents and skills to help others."
"I'm not sure what the future holds. Whatever comes along, we'll see ..."
Dorothy Yackley was interviewed by Staff Writer Steve Eighinger and photographed by Photo Editor Phil Carlson.