Calling volunteerism a civic duty, Nicolas Escobar’s current service helps people with developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential.
As a volunteer and a member of the Board of Directors for Kreider Services, Nicolas, a 38-year-old from Polo, Illinois, has volunteered since 2017 to help people with disabilities overcome challenges so they can live, work and participate meaningfully in their community. Supporting his neighbors in big and small ways, from his leadership role on the board to getting his hands dirty to beautify Kreider’s residential facilities, Nicolas is giving back to his community to provide a better life for those who need the help.
What inspires you to volunteer?
We all need to volunteer as a civic duty. it can be easy to overlook providing a meaningful life for those who need it. Our goal is to create a safe and happy community to facilitate active living for people with developmental disabilities.
Describe your volunteerism with Kreider Services.
As a board member and volunteer, I serve to improve organizational ability, efficiency and business oversight in regards to financial, legal, staffing, and many other operating factors. I also fundraise for the organization, and as a volunteer, I’ve done everything from planning different events to doing grunt work. I saw firsthand how challenging it can be for people with developmental disabilities to fit in and have purpose. The parents of the residents at Kreider want to know their children are safe, and as a board member, it’s our job to make sure we are providing a safe community, offering programs that make a difference not only in the client’s life, but also their family’s.
Explain how your service offers a better life for your neighbors.
We all have opportunities and the duty to give back to our community. As part of my volunteerism, I help to maintain and beautify residential facilities for the Kreider community. This includes spreading mulch, raking and getting my hands dirty. It means the world to me that I can make an impact on somebody’s life.
Share one personal story with me from your volunteerism.
Meeting the clients and having them tell you a story, going to an event and seeing them smile and dance, or giving you a hug, that’s the biggest impact. Helping to better someone else’s life puts things in perspective for me, I think it helps to keep me balanced and it makes me feel good.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
People are given opportunities to succeed in their personal life, and with that comes a personal responsibility to give back to others and to their community.
How have you continued to volunteer throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Kreider facility residents are a high-risk group, so we’ve had to pause volunteerism on site. Our board meetings have recently recommenced in person, but we are social distancing and wearing masks.
In one word, what does volunteering mean to you?
Dedication. Volunteering is hard. I’ve been volunteering since I was 16-years-old. I missed ball games, I missed practices. I missed these sort of things because I had commitments to volunteerism. It’s not easy, but I’m dedicated to it.
How can readers help?
Please visit the Kreider website for more information about how you can help.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Nicolas Escobar? Find local volunteer opportunities.