Karen Keilman has made volunteering in the St. John’s Home Gift Shop a part of her regular routine three days a week since May 2021. She is one of St. John’s Home’s valued volunteers according to volunteer coordinator Sandy Ferguson. “She goes out of her way to assist our residents” says Sandy, noting that Karen came in three Saturdays this past December to make sure residents were able to check everything off their holiday wish list.
“I enjoy talking to the residents,” says Karen when asked why she continues to volunteer at St. John’s Home. Having the routine ensures Karen gets out of the house and meets new people while making a difference in the lives of our residents. She is always a friendly, familiar face to see behind the gift shop counter.
After getting to know Karen further over the months, Sandy found out that Karen did not just have a knack for people, but an eye for photography.
Karen first remembers picking up a camera in high school stating, “As a teenager, I always had a camera on me.” As a lover of nature and traveling, photography provided a way to take her travels with her. With this hobby, Karen is able share the experiences “through her eyes” with those around her.
As she ventured into adulthood and started a family, her passion for photography was trumped by her love for her children. She spent more time with her kids and less time behind a lens. As her children grew up and she had more time to herself, she rediscovered her passion for photography. Today, she continues to photograph nature, with birds and flowers being a few of her favorite subjects. One of her favorite spots to shoot is conveniently right next door to St. John’s Home: Highland Park.
Throughout the month of February, Karen’s work is being featured on the St. John’s Home Terry Wall Art Display for residents, staff members, and visitors to enjoy. Karen’s prints, which are also available for purchase, make a great gift!