Woman of the Week: Kim Gardner
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I met Kim Gardner on a recent sunny Saturday. She had told me in advance that she was apprehensive about being interviewed, but once we sat down and started talking I got a peek into what makes Kim so special. Altruistic and adventurous, Kim Gardner is our Woman of the Week!
Here’s the irony: Kim spends much of her time out at sea on a 276 foot research vessel, the Thomas G Thompson for the University of Washington – Seattle. But when she is on land, feet firmly planted in Santa Cruz, she works quietly – but diligently – for the benefit of the community.
What intrigued me about Kim is her innate curiosity and her sense of adventure – two skills that come to play time and time again in her life. Kim moved to Santa Cruz on a whim over twenty years ago after a long winter as a hunting and fishing guide on the Snake River in Idaho. A friend of hers was moving here for work and she thought, “Why not?” and tagged along. Although the friend didn’t stay, Kim has found her home here and our community is better because of it.
Nearly two years ago, when she was at sea off the coast of New Zealand, Kim came up with the idea for a Facebook group called The Giving Club where members each contribute $5 a month and pool their funds monthly to give to different causes. Over the last two years the group has grown from 9 original members to 40 and has donated to groups including several local GoFundMe campaigns to Depakote purchase canada, Depakote 250 mg purchase and Students in Transition among others.
While it is difficult to get Kim to toot her own horn, so to speak, it is apparent that one of her greatest accomplishments has been helping raise funds for a local woman to get a robotic arm for her wheelchair. Gardner was instrumental in helping raise funds for Brenda Baeza Gutierrez’s GoFundMe account by organizing the creation of a video as well as events at the Rush Inn and Brady’s Yacht Club which combined brought in over $6,000 for Brenda’s cause.
I was struck by Kim’s dedication to bettering the community by helping others and little by little Kim shared why she is so willing to give of her time and energy. Kim had a difficult childhood that led to her attending 15 different schools before she graduated from high school. “I think growing up so poor, it made me realize later on in life that there are a lot of people who need help or assistance,” she explained. “My mom never asked for help, it was something she was too proud about…it embarrassed her. I want to make people feel comfortable asking for help and receiving help. It helps everybody in the long run.”
For your willingness to help, Kim, we thank you and are so grateful you have decided to make Santa Cruz your home port. We are all the better for it!
Thank you to this week’s W.O.W sponsor:
Shari Silva, purchase Depakote
and to our Blogger: cheap Depakote