Community Volunteer of the Year: Kim Guerrette Michaud
“I’m not much of a sleeper,” she says with a laugh. Perhaps it’s that, along with her go-to order of coffee with two creams over ice, which allows Kim Guerrette Michaud to volunteer an average of 70 hours a month.
Kim, who has been with MMG Insurance since 1997, has her hands full as a Personal Lines Lead Underwriter and has a heart full of compassion for her community.
Leading Kids to Learning
Kim confesses her volunteer heart is most devoted to the Wintergreen Arts Center in Presque Isle.
“It’s a creative space for everyone. We really feel everybody has a creative piece to them and it’s our goal to help people find that space within themselves.”
Wintergreen offers creative pre-school, after-school, homeschool, and adult programs.
“There’s not a lot of desk time. It’s movement. It’s color. It’s helping them reach a love for learning through creativity.”
Choosing Can Over Can’t
Also among her volunteer ventures is her role as an assistant coach for the local Special Olympics soccer team.
Kim calls the kids “athletes with disabilities,” choosing to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.
“One young lady, who is basically non-verbal, had problems running. She couldn’t take too many steps continually, but if you put a ball in front of her she could kick it straight as an arrow.”
Cooking Up Community Service
Off the field, you might find Kim in the kitchen, where she joins others in preparing meals for the Sister Mary O’Donnell Emergency Homeless Shelter in Presque Isle.
“They are a pretty incredible, dedicated group of people.”
She’s part of the “food train” that whips up meals and delivers them to the shelter, which serves more than 200 adults and children every year. She and her husband also help with serving meals on Thanksgiving and Easter.
Up in Lights
“My oldest daughter became involved in pageants about ten years ago. It was a passion she and I developed together. As she retired from competing, I began judging and coaching.”
Kim and her daughter have now teamed up, flip-flopping roles as pageant director and assistant for local pageants.
“The self-confidence and self-esteem the young ladies build through pageants is remarkable and my daughter and I love sharing that.”
All in the Family
Kim credits her ability to volunteer close to 850 hours per year to her husband, Carl, and says her instinct to serve comes from her parents.
“Growing up, they instilled in me that community is everything. In small communities you have to support each other to move everybody forward.”
It’s a way of thinking that Kim and Carl have ingrained in their four children as well.
“Our motto at our house is ‘Volunteerism: Bring a friend.’ One thing we’ve always said is that if you’re going to volunteer, invite someone to do it with you.”