When Senior Corps RSVP volunteer Karl Kramer retired in 2003, he wanted to find a way to remain active and he decided to start volunteering. He has found it to be a rewarding way to help and be involved in the community doing what he loves and exploring new opportunities. As a retired USDA and Kansas State University scientist, he has enjoyed being an interpreter at the Flint Hills Discovery Center on Sundays. He has been able to learn about the Flint Hills while also sharing his knowledge and love for science with visitors. “I just highly value science.” Karl enjoys sharing and collaborating with others even in his retirement, and he wishes for others to understand and enjoy science as well.
Karl also volunteers at the Manhattan Arts Center and delivers the Friendship Meals from the Riley County Senior Services Center to senior community members every week. At the Manhattan Arts Center, Karl enjoys engaging with community members who share his love for the Arts. The Friendship Meals program is valuable because it assists those who cannot get out on their own. Karl expressed that he would want the help if he were in a similar position and he enjoys being able to make connections with those he delivers meals to each week. He fondly recalled some very special people whom he met while delivering meals because of their lively personalities and joy when sharing stories together. Karl is encouraged to continue delivering meals even after difficult moments because he knows that the meals are necessary. He never knows what he is going to walk in on when he arrives; someone may be in a situation where they need help. Delivering meals has helped Karl’s appreciation for the people he meets, the challenges faced as we age, and encourages him to do what he can to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.