Kathy O’Donnell Kluesener has served at the Christian Appalachian Project longer than any other person in CAP’s history. For 40 years, Kathy has dedicated herself to our volunteer program. Arriving as a short-term volunteer for the housing and summer camp programs, she found her experience to be so fulfilling that she returned as a long-term volunteer. CAP’s founder, Reverend Beiting, saw something special in Kathy and placed her in a full-time role assisting those who were interested in becoming volunteers. This was such a good fit that Kathy continues to serve in that capacity today. Her goal is to ensure others have a valuable volunteer experience by supporting them while they are with CAP, and also making sure to keep them connected once they move on.
Mike Loiacono, Cumberland Valley Director of Human Services, recalls: “My first impression of Kathy was one of a humble servant of God, and that impression has proven itself over the last couple of decades. Her peaceful spirit is a touchstone that helps keep me centered when I’m around her and when I think of her.”
In the words of Bev Penkalski, former manager of CAP’s Outreach program, “We can only guess at the changes in the world as a result of the ripple effect from her acceptance and guidance with each of the hundreds of individuals she has cared for and ministered to through these many years.”
Kathy’s ministry to serve volunteers has enabled CAP to achieve our mission to serve people in need in Appalachia. As CAP celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is important to note the dedication of the employees and volunteers, and how they truly are the backbone of this great and successful organization.