Kathie Amble is one of our longest-standing volunteers at Common Hope. Starting in the early 90’s, Kathie has given her support and her heart to Common Hope’s mission both in St. Paul and in Guatemala. She has used her knowledge and skills as a nurse practitioner to aid in the development of our Healthcare program, and she has raised awareness of our work in her community and healthcare organizations around Minnesota.
“And it all started by accident,” she says.
Using her skills to enhance and fortify the Healthcare Program
In 1991, Kathie was in Guatemala visiting her son, who was touring Antigua and had recently found out about Common Hope through a friend with whom he connected fortuitously. Kathie was then exposed to Common Hope’s work and took great interest in learning more about the mission. She met with John Huebsch to talk about the needs of families in Guatemala, specifically in the area of healthcare. Learning about the limited access to healthcare in Guatemala fueled Kathie’s desire to use her medical skills to help those in need. After Kathie retired from the Minneapolis Health Department in 2000, she and her husband traveled to and from Guatemala for the next 12 years, staying 3 months at a time to volunteer numerous hours in the clinic and pharmacy at our Antigua site.
They sorted medicines, helped setup and organize the clinic and pharmacy, handled in-kind donations, labeled medical instruments, created a reference book of medicines for staff in Guatemala, and aided in setting up protocol for certain medical situations. Kathie also worked directly with patients in the clinic and helped them get on the road to recovery. When Kathie was in Minnesota, she spread the word about the great healthcare need in Guatemala amongst her colleagues and received support for our families in the form of in-kind donations. She also volunteered many hours in our St. Paul office. “There was always plenty of work to do,” she affirms.
Kathie says that her belief in the organization is what compelled her to volunteer all these years, she continues to explain,
“The fact that I had some skills that I could offer that made a difference— that was important [to me.] The people were very, very important, as well: those I worked with, the people I got to know personally, the staff, and the patients. Of course, it didn’t hurt getting out of Minnesota in the winter, either. That was an added bonus!”
Recognition for her charitable work
In 2011, Kathie was one of seven St. Catherine University alumni who received an award of recognition for their involvement in charitable work. Upon receiving her award, Kathie gave a speech to her peers, explaining the reality of people who live without the opportunity to access healthcare, seizing the opportunity to promote awareness rather than receive credit.
Today, Kathie enjoys retirement and continues to offer her skill volunteering. When reflecting on her time as a volunteer with Common Hope, she affirms, “I’m certainly grateful for having been part of the team at Common Hope. It has been wonderful to meet so many good people. There’s so much loyalty, and it is has enriched my life to have been part of this community.”
Thank you, Kathie, for sharing your time, energy and skills with us for so many years. We treasure and appreciate your altruistic acts, and we know that our families and staff in Guatemala do as well.