As summer approaches, many are dreaming about the idea of getting back to “normal.” However, for Kate Getty at Metro Catholic Outreach, she understands that even with all the change that has happened, one thing has remained the same; people are still hungry.
“This is not a normal time, so we are unsure what the summer will look like at MCO except that people will still need food.”
Find out more about how this Corridor mom is serving the greater community, while also serving her family.
Corridor Mom Spotlight: Kate Getty
Tell us about your family.
“I have been married to my husband, Tim for 23 years. We were college sweethearts. Brennan, our son, is 4.5. You can’t forget the 1/2. We also have Duncan, our 5-month-old Goldendoodle. I was born and raised in southwest Iowa and Tim grew up on the southside of Chicago, so the Corridor is almost exactly 1/2 between, which is perfect!”
How long have you lived in the Corridor?
“We have been here for 12 years and love it here. Our first summer, the Floods of 2008 happened, so we quickly got involved with the community. I now work at Metro Catholic Outreach which primarily serves the Cedar Rapids/Linn County area, but we provide food to anyone who needs it regardless of income, race, religion, age, gender, or number in the family. We like to say – if you are hungry, we will feed you. We usually serve between 120-150 families a week in the food pantry. We also have a small financial assistance program and try to help 30 families with funds to avoid homelessness or loss of utilities.”
What are your favorite things about living here?
“I like to say this is the biggest small town ever. It is big enough to have amazing arts, sporting events, parks, amazing restaurants, and shopping but small enough you can usually find someone you know anywhere you go. Brennan’s school (St. Matthew) is a big family and that makes a big difference when your extended family is far away. Our SE side neighborhood is also a huge part of our lives. We are a tight-knit group and have had Smores parties, progressive dinners, Independence Day celebrations, Ice Cream parties, great conversations, and so many celebrations!”
What’s the biggest joy of motherhood for you?
“Brennan’s smile. We waited a long time to add to our family and he has been a blessing and joy. I can be having a tough day and then he smiles and those dimples show and my heart is full.”
What is the biggest challenge of motherhood for you?
“Asking for help. I am terrible about asking friends to help when I need a hand. Since my family is 3 1/2 hours away, I have to ask friends and I am bad at it.”
What is the most fulfilling part of your work at MCO?
“Knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives every day. It is not glamorous or fancy work, but I get to make a difference in our community every day. What can be better than that?! I believe that MCO is a safe space for people to ask questions about services in the community. As a low barrier food pantry, we make it very easy to get food assistance and we are able to help those who don’t know where else to go. We also provide feminine hygiene products and personal care items to those who need them. These become important when food stamps do not allow you to purchase them and they are things people need to feel clean and stay healthy.”
How do you balance motherhood, work, and life?
“I do not think you can balance it. I think it is a teeter-totter, and something always has more weight than the other. I appreciate that when I leave work, I get to leave work at work. I have had other jobs where that was not possible so I made the conscious decision to change to a career where work can usually stay at work. No email or phone calls after work hours so I can be fully present for Brennan.”
What’s your must-have beauty product?
“Sunscreen! I have melanoma so sunscreen is a must.”
What’s one thing you never leave home without besides your purse/phone?
“Chapstick – I am one of those with desk chapstick, car chapstick, nightstand chapstick, and coat chapstick.”
What are five of your favorite Corridor places to eat/play/hang out?
If you or your family are looking for ways to get involved, MCO is always in need of food and personal care items for clients. Kate says, “One item can make a big difference. If every family reading this picked up one item to donate to us, or any food pantry, it would make a huge difference.”
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