By Philip Case
Teresa Hockensmith has the heart of a volunteer.
“If I hear of someone who needs help,” said the Frankfort native and resident, “I try to help in whatever way I can.”
A graduate of Peaks Mill Elementary School and Franklin County High School, Hockensmith went to work directly out of high school.
“I worked for 25 years in state government,” she said, “bought another five years of retirement and stopped to take care of my mom.”
The daughter of the late Arch and Ruby Campbell, Hockensmith grew up in the Peaks Mill area but now lives in Frankfort.
“I’ve found it’s a little more convenient,” she said.
The list of ways in which Hockensmith has shared that “heart of a volunteer” is long and varied. Not only has she been quick to help people in need in this and surrounding communities, but she also volunteers at LifeHouse for Animals.
“We need to help with animals,” she said. “Otherwise they’d be running wild with no control.”
She says her dad instilled in her from an early age the importance of helping other people.
“I’ve just always kept that with me. It’s a pleasure to volunteer,” she said.
Hockensmith is a member of the Rotary Club of Frankfort and was a member of the Kiwanis Club for a year. Like many other volunteers who want more than just their names on the rolls, she tries to participate in programs and projects that help people or causes.
At the request of Paula Rutledge, longtime director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross, she helped install smoke alarms in homes in the Evergreen Road area.
“A lot of people didn’t have them,” she said, “and it felt good to know I’d done something to help make them safer.”
Some of her other volunteer work includes helping stock shelves at the Franklin County Emergency Food Pantry, assisting local Scout troops with food drives and serving as a Girl Scout leader.
“I’m the youngest of six kids and something of a Daddy’s girl,” she said. “I learned a lot from him, including the spirit of giving and helping others in less fortunate situations.”
She talked about assisting a Lexington church regularly with a “free yard sale” and purchasing, with others, Christmas gifts for needy families in this and other communities.
“You can’t place a price tag on the looks on their faces when they receive help,” she said. “It’s just gratifying.”
That’s what fills the heart of a volunteer.