Local senior's enthusiasm to impact other women: Pay it Forward
A smiling face stands out from the rest at Waypoint in Cedar Rapids. Helping aid the organization's mission to offer shelter and housing, domestic violence services and childcare to women, Ethel Houser has volunteered there for the last four years. Her main job is sorting through and organizing donations and putting together bags of hygiene items for clients. Waypoint said without Ethel they wouldn't have the staffing capacity to keep up on the hygiene supplies.
Ethel volunteers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rarely ever misses a day. Waypoint said they often have to tell her when it is time to take a break because she just keeps working.
Ethel is such a blessing to the Waypoint clients, they call her mom. Her enthusiasm for helping women in need came from a very personal place.
"I went through a time in my life when I had almost nothing and I know what it's like to live that way. I wasn't out on the street, but I didn't have food at that time. I was pregnant and I didn't have any food. I went out in the cornfield and picked off ears of corn that didn't even have grains on them yet and boiled them in hot water and sucked the juice out of them to give me strength. So I know what it's like and I don't want to see people hurting,"