Volunteer Spirit: Geddes says different types of service offer unique rewards

Photo by Philip Case – Diana Geddes poses for a photo in the lobby of her business Fit Time for Women.

By Philip Case

Contributing writer

For Diana Geddes, there are three important aspects of life — exercise, food and faith. And those three further focus on two kinds of health — physical and spiritual.

Geddes, the owner of Fit Time for Women and a member of First Christian Church, says, “I feel like I spend most of my time getting folks on treadmills or in the pews!”

Among a variety of other things, Geddes is on the board of the Backpack Snack Program, an ongoing effort that’s based in the church located on Ann Street.

The program focuses on providing food for children to take home for the weekend when they may not have any. Geddes has had people ask her if she believes the program is worth the effort.

“I tell them if I helped one kid keep from going hungry, then it’s worth any effort.”

Geddes and other volunteers pack boxes for the food pantry and help organize pickups on the first, third and fifth Fridays. The program takes applications for food boxes, picks them up and delivers them.

“I would really like to convince other people to become involved in volunteer work,” Geddes said. “It’s very rewarding.”

She has served in a variety of capacities at the church, covering a spectrum from administrative to cooking. All, she says, have their unique rewards and all involve people.

“Sometimes I think a church is known just by a service on Sunday morning,” Geddes said. “That’s important, but what the members do behind the scenes to demonstrate a spirit of giving is vital.”

Geddes heads up the survivors dinner associated with the American Cancer Society’s signature event, Relay for Life.

“Sometimes we serve as many as 200 cancer survivors,” she said, “and it helps make a corner of their lives – and ours – bright.”

The sole owner of Fit Time since 2006, Geddes laughs with her husband, John, wondering if the business is actually a “business or a hobby.

“I try to do a lot of volunteer things through this,” she said, sitting in her office at Fit Time. “I feel like if you put the idea out there – whatever it may be – then it makes it easier for others to become involved.”

Geddes said she once heard a sermon on being “intentional” about faith and exercise.

“I think that says a lot: What we do – faith, exercise, healthy eating, helping others — can’t just be by accident. It needs to be fueled by the intention to do it,” she said.

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