One woman’s story of donating time and money to Avera since 1984

Positively KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Avera Foundation works to support their patients, families and employees, but it’s because of numerous donors that they’re able to do that. One of those donors has been helping the organization every year since 1984.

Karen Muth got an unexpected gift delivered to her house this morning.

“There was a car that stopped outside the house here and my daughters were here and someone gets out of the car with a humongous bouquet coming up to my door and what a blessing for me,” Karen Muth said. “And it was a nice surprise because they wanted to just thank me for being a servant for the Avera people,” Muth said.

For nearly 40 years now, Muth has given a donation to the Avera Foundation every single year. That makes her the longest, consecutive year donor the organization has ever seen.

“We have over 400 thousand individual records of generous individuals who have supported us over the years and Karen is that lead donor,” Dzenan Berberovic, Avera Chief Philanthropy Officer said.

But it’s not just donations that Karen gives to Avera, it’s her time too by volunteering to paint nails at Avera Prince of Peace. She started doing that because of her late husband Wayne.

“It was my heart, I think, that got me going with it because I just wanted to help Wayne,” Muth said. “I mean, Wayne was working for Avera and had started Prince of Peace and I thought well this would be a fun thing to do for me because I love to have my nails polished and I thought the elderly probably would like that so then we started the program.”

Through their commitment to Avera, both Karen and Wayne inspired their own two daughters.

“My dad was very humble and he was a servant leader and my mom has a very generous heart so together they just kind of built their life around donating their time and financial resources to organizations that really aligned with who they were as people,” Michelle Walter, Karen Muth’s daughter, said.

“If you ever feel like you need to just do something to help people, just do it, you know,” Muth said. “There are lots of places that a person could go be a benefit to other people.”

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