Marty Venvertloh: 'You just go out and see what there is to do'

Posted: Dec. 5, 2012 6:28 pm Updated: Dec. 20, 2012 12:15 am

For Marty Venvertloh, volunteering has been a way of life. She first caught the volunteering bug when she was at Quincy Notre Dame High School. That continued when she went to Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

"I think we are all called to give back to our community, to our church and to our family," Venvertloh said. "The more you give back, the more you receive. I just find it very fulfilling to share my time."

Venvertloh kept up a busy volunteer schedule despite raising a family. She and her husband, Dale, had four boys. Those boys -- all of whom graduated from Quincy Notre Dame -- are all grown up and following in their mother's footsteps by doing volunteer work of their own.

"I didn't think it was tough," Venvertloh said of doing volunteer work while she was raising her children. "You have to be very organized with your time. I guess that worked. Sometimes the house wasn't as clean as it should have been."

Venvertloh is the parish nurse at St. Peter Church, where she also works with a program that helps people go through the steps of the grieving process. She has been one of the leaders of the annual Back to School Fair at First Baptist Church. Venvertloh also volunteers for the Red Cross and helps with local soup kitchens. She also has been active in the Quincy Service League over the years.

Here's why Marty volunteers, in her own words:

"The Quincy Service League was one of the really good ways to get out in the community and become aware of what the needs were. It was a fun way to give back. I'm a sustainer now and get to do the easy things like work at the (holiday) gift show. I used to do Meals on Wheels and projects at Chaddock and also helped with RIF (Reading Is Fundamental). It seems like I did a lot of Meals on Wheels. That was an easy thing to do with little ones."

"(The Back to School Fair) started 15, 16, 17 years ago with one of the local physicians, Dr. (John) Scott, at First Baptist Church. Orville Jones was doing a small thing with his parishioners. He saw the need. He saw that the kids were not prepared to get back to school with supplies. We just kind of enhanced it. Dr. Scott brought myself and Debbie Fitzgerald, we were two parish nurses, to spearhead it and bring more community involvement. Right now, we have about 14 or 15 churches involved and probably just as many service agencies in the community. Not only do the churches provide backpacks and school supplies for pre-K through college kids, we do free physicals, free sports physicals, haircuts, dental checks, free clothing. It's turned into a big fun thing. It's just one morning out of the year."

"I think (volunteering) puts things into perspective. You can actually do more for your family. You can do more for people that are inside your little bubble when you reach outside of it to help others. It's nice to be a resource for people. We're not just doing things for people, but we are helping them gain some things they need to achieve. Walking hand-in-hand with somebody and helping them through some difficult times as opposed to just giving them something."

"I was always worried that there wouldn't be enough time in the day to get things done. It's amazing how much time when you open yourself to give, how much more time in the day you really have."

"Being a parish nurse, I'm really big into body, mind, spirit. You take care of yourself. You take care of your family. You take care of your church. And you take care of your community. You can get it all done. I'm just very, very blessed and excited. Every day is a gift. You just go out and see what there is to do."

Marty Venvertloh was interviewed by Staff Writer Don O'Brien and photographed by Photo Editor Phil Carlson.