2020 Volunteer of the Year: Kim Owen

For Kim Owen, problem-solving, innovating and creating are second nature. Retiring as the Vice President of Human Resources at QuikTrip as well as managing rodeos and running a ranch with her husband, Kim is no stranger to leadership. Her unique background was the key to success when Catholic Charities partnered with the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Like many other people in America in 2020, her world began to shift as rodeos canceled, life changed and God put her on a new path. 

What started as simple volunteer work, filling out invoices and paperwork for the Farmers to Families program, quickly became a full-time mission for Kim. In May of 2020, when food insecurity was high, Kim was thrown into a role she never expected.

Catholic Charities' partnership with Farmers to Families provided 7.86 million pounds of food in one year in Eastern Oklahoma alone! With eighteen distribution sites, Kim oversaw the entire project and dealt with the many issues that arose. She worked tirelessly to put in calls for drivers, coordinating with different distribution locations and local managers and even driving food to places herself in a neighbor's cattle trailer. 

Kim credits the help of hundreds of volunteers and divine help from God who made it all possible. “We’ve seen so many people who made things happen and God was the Creator of it all,” Owen said.  

Her love and dedication to the program drove Catholic Charities to offer her a permanent position, to which she declined. She says her service is voluntary, and she doesn’t want to be paid to do what she feels God keeps her on earth to do. In an interview, Kim shared a story about her brush with death, and her message from God.   

“I almost died and after surgery,” she explained, “I was in a coma for eight days, and when I came out of it, I could hear people ...but then it would type across a message...like on an old-time typewriter with white paper and black ink, you know. So, if somebody came in and said, well, “how's our girl today?” I'd see that type across and I kind of went back out......then I see a gold paper come up and it types across the page, "The fight is long, but God is strong. He will prevail.””

From that moment on, Kim knew God let her live for a reason, to serve others. And that’s exactly what she has done. Thanks to her service she has taken care of countless people through the pandemic and continues to be a beacon of Christ's merciful love. 

Her hard work and dedication earned her the title of CCEOK Volunteer of the Year for 2020!