MUSCATINE, Iowa–Sept. 07, Muscatine native Kim Seligman joined two other Muscatine residents (Perry Penniston and Tom “Taco” Hendricks) in the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame. Though Seligman, co-founder of the Muscatine Diabetes Project and an active member of Lions Club International has spent over a decade advocating for those with diabetes, she felt surprised and awed to receive this honor. “It is truly humbling to receive the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame award, as it is the most prestigious state-level honor a volunteer can receive as recognition of extraordinary donations of volunteer service to their community,” she said. She also credited the many people with diabetes she worked with over the years who have inspired her to keep working to make Muscatine a healthier place to live. “In my 16 plus years of volunteer diabetes awareness efforts, I would like to share this award with all the people that live (or have lived) with diabetes, as it is my passion to continue to bring awareness to diabetes through prevention and improve outcomes along with being a voice to the ones that may not or cannot use theirs.”
In 2016, Seligman helped start the Muscatine Diabetes project, which helps connect people with diabetes to the information and supplies they need to live a healthy life, helps teach people about diabetes so that they can make smart lifestyle choices to avoid it, and provides diabetes supply kits and training to schools in Muscatine County to help students with diabetes successfully manage their condition. In this role, she also presented a donation to Camp Hertko Hollow, a camp designed to accommodate the needs of children with diabetes. Seligman also serves on the board of Camp Hertko Hollow and takes pride in helping this 50-year-old organization continue to give campers with diabetes a first rate experience. In tandem with these roles, Seligman participates in the Muscatine County Empowering Healthy Behaviors Initiative, Healthy Hometown Muscatine via Wellmark, and regularly works with local food pantries and the UnitedWay COVID-19 food delivery program, helping make sure they have food choices suitable for those with diabetes.
For much of her life, Seligman has valued the chance that volunteering gives her to help others: “A favorite quote of mine is, ‘There’s joy in the journey as we walk alongside each other.’ This quote reminds me daily that there is joy in helping others, and also having a positive impact on a person’s well-being,” she said. She also uses it as a way to honor the life of her son, who died from complications of type one diabetes.
Whether you would like to support the Muscatine Diabetes Project or any other local organization, Seligman encourages others to volunteer in a way that suits them. “We truly all have a purpose here on earth and sharing our time and talents,” she shared. “Volunteering is a priceless gift that you can give back to others.”