Meet Karen, this weeks Volunteer Spotlight!

This week our volunteer spotlight is Karen Perry, also known as Creative Karen. She’s been a staple in the park for 4 years, cultivating beauty as a member of our gardening team (especially watering!), taking countless photographs of the fun in the Square and advocating both locally and nationally for accessibility in public spaces. Karen is an artist and self-professed “people person.” She seems to know everyone in the city!

You’ve probably seen Karen downtown. She’s always dressed in bright colors, with a funky hat and jewelry. Even her walker has dazzle! She started volunteering because she believes parks can be windows into other worlds. Meeting new people who become friends, sharing creative activities, designing a healthy and green environment – she says, “it moulds happiness!”

Karen shared, “When I first started to volunteer I had trouble at the time with talking. Everybody at CSP was very patient with me. It served as win-win situation for me.” Karen has aphasia, which results in the loss of ability to understand and express speech. Feeling stuck at home for a while, she found the park was an outlet for socialization and a way to make an impact in a city she loves.

One of her favorite memories from the Square is when she invited her friends for a “celebration of life” party or “Fun-eral.” Karen had been going to the Death Cafes at the library and she wanted to celebrate her friendships now, rather than waiting. The Square was a setting for friends to listen to music, enjoy a pot-luck picnic, and spend time with each other.

When asked what her ideal day would be like, she said she has simple needs: being with people, looking them in the eyes, listening, and sharing stories. That’s Karen, our social butterfly!

You bring so much joy, Karen. WE APPRECIATE YOU!

To meet Karen and other awesome volunteers in the park, check out one of our upcoming events here: http://congresssquarepark.org/events/

And to learn more about volunteering with us check out:http://congresssquarepark.org/volunteer/ OR contact: <volunteer@congresssquarepark.org>

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