Common Heart is powered and energized by volunteers. It takes more than 225 volunteers serving together every single month to rescue groceries from stores, pack boxes of food, deliver to homes, process thrift store donations, and provide administrative and customer service support. These volunteers are led by an amazing staff and board of directors.
Keith and his wife, Deb, have been around since day one of Common Heart. In fact, they joined with two friends to become the first of many friends to be part of this "small revolution of kindness."
The proud parents of two grown sons, Bene & Kyril, they live in Weddington in a multi-generational home with Keith's parents. In October 2011, after asking God when he would be able to do what he really wanted to, and then within 2 days losing his full-time job, Keith began volunteering full time with Common Heart.
A couple years later, he stepped down as founding president and chief volunteer to lead this organization as Executive Director. Keith received his Bachelor's degree in 2014 from Wingate University after 35 years. Keith's passion is to motivate folks to personally invest their lives in serving others.
One of his favorite quotes is: "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." -- Rabindranath Tagore
You can contact Keith at Keith@CommonHeart.org.
Barbara joined Common Heart in July 2015 and has more than 20 years of experience in the human services field, most recently as a supervisor with the Cabarrus County Department of Human Services.
She first learned about Common Heart by attending one of the organization's Serving U workshops.
The south Charlotte resident said she's “excited about the opportunity” to join this small revolution of kindness.
“Even though I'm not dealing directly with clients, I actually feel like I'm helping,” she said. “This is why I went into this field and that gets lost sometimes when you become a supervisor working behind a desk.”
A native Charlottean, Barbara and her husband, Richard, have two grown sons, Norris & Preble, and a 16-year-old daughter, Jade. They have one grandson, James. Their family also includes a 200-pound Great Dane, Shakespeare, and schitsu, Chloe.
You can contact Barbara by emailing Barbara.Anglin-Law@CommonHeart.org.
Dana Hinson has been a fixture at Common Things Thrift Store for four years as a volunteer and now as the store's full-time manager.
For Dana, finding Common Heart was an answer to prayer. The Union County native lives in Indian Trail and has three children, ages 22, 16 and 9.
“God spoke openly to me that this was His plan. I was to serve,” she said.
A former real estate broker, Dana's life took a sharp turn after several medical issues changed everything.
“That forced me to look at where my priorities were and where my heart was,” she said. “But I think serving has affected me the most. I know that I am blessed by service, not because of it. I am so thankful to be a part of Common Heart’s 'small revolution of kindness.'”
When she's not at Common Things, you'll find Dana horseback riding or crocheting.
You can contact Dana at Dana.Hinson@CommonHeart.org.
For volunteer Barbara Hood, her fellow volunteers keep her going.
A Common Things Thrift Store volunteer for at least five years, Barbara works to process and display books, housewares and children's toys at the store. She was named the 2014-15 Common Things Volunteer of the Year during the annual Love in Action banquet.
“I love to work with the people here. This is my second family,” she said. They're keeping me going … I just love 'em. If you need prayer, they'll pray with you right then and help you with anything that you need.”
Volunteering never gets old for this Threshold Church member. Barbara lives in Indian Trail.
“It doesn't seem like work. I love doing this,” Barbara said.
You can contact Barbara at Barbara.Hood@CommonHeart.org.
Like many Common Heart volunteers, Susan Ochs wears many hats at the nonprofit. The Marvin resident serves as Volunteer Site Coordinator with Common Heart's Volunteers in Tax Assistance, or VITA, program and is also the Volunteer Coordinator over all aspects at Common Heart. When an individual, family, church or business wants to volunteer at Common Heart, it's Susan they meet.A veteran of the financial industry, Ochs' first introduction to Common Heart was helping with the VITA program four years ago after seeing a call for volunteers in a local newspaper.
You can contact Susan at Susan.Ochs@CommonHeart.org.
Darren lives in Indian Trail and serves as children's pastor and church administrator with Image Church. He first connected with Common Heart about a year ago while volunteering in Common Things Thrift Store with fellow church members. Since then, he's served in the food pantry and says the opportunity to serve on the board is an answer to prayer.
Darren has a bachelor's degree in public administration and a master's degree in management & leadership. He currently serves as chairman of the Union County Board of Adjustments and has served on numerous other local boards including the Union County Library Board, Union County Board of Elections and the CMC-Union Board of Trustees. Darren says he looks forward to helping Common Heart strengthen relationships in the local faith community. You can reach Darren by emailing Darren.Greene@TheCommonplace.org.
Traci is a quality assurance specialist with Carolinas Healthcare System. The Monroe resident volunteered with Common Heart in several capacities, most recently helping local residents sign up for health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act. Traci is active with her church, Elevation Church. She echoes the sentiments of her fellow volunteers when she says “I believe I am called to serve in the community. I love helping others; it gives me a sense of purpose. I know God did not put me on this earth to just live my life for myself.” You can reach Traci by emailing Traci.Dawson@TheCommonplace.org.
Jonathan is vice president and branch manager with South State Bank in South Park, but makes his home in Indian Trail. He got his first taste of Common Heart in action during 2014's Great Turkey Countdown where he served together with his wife and two daughters.
Jonathan has a bachelor's degree in education and extensive financial industry experience which he says he's excited to use to help Common Heart and those in need. He is an active member of the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered during several of their events. You can reach Johnathan by emailing Jonathan.Fournier@TheCommonplace.org.