At a recent Companis Worker retreat, Karen Hundrieser spoke about the spirit of Companis and used bread from our partner nonprofit Community Loaves as a symbol for sharing. “We all know that Companis, loosely translated, means to share bread. That makes Companis an action word,” she said. “When we commit to being a part of Companis, we commit to being in action. We commit to sharing something that is sustaining.” As our Associate Executive Director – Programs the past three years, Karen has played a big part in sustaining Companis, connecting skilled volunteers with partner nonprofits.
Karen began her time with Companis in a placement with partner Elizabeth Gregory Home in 2017. Now, she’s moving into a new role as a specialist in Worker engagement – special projects. She has passed her volunteer matching torch to Jennifer Wing. The two have been sharing knowledge since mid-May. Soon, Karen will be working remotely from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offering Zoom sessions with Workers and staff that focus on cultural awareness and enrichment, programs she began in 2020.
At the Workers retreat, Karen closed her circle talk with these words: “This truth about who we aspire to be together has been important to me. It has brought me through some tough times and has encouraged me to be my best self – even to discover my best self in a new place in my life. I have seen that to also be true for many of you. But more than that, it encourages how we are with the people in our placements and our lives. What makes Companis different is truly sustenance for the journey. So I invite you to receive the loaf as it is passed, take a piece of bread and share it with the person next to you. Companis – to share bread – where compassion meets action.”
Thank you, Karen, for all that you’ve done and for all that you will offer us going forward.