Remembering Karen Leipold, volunteer extraordinaire

The Leipold sisters, Debbie (left) and Karen, started volunteering regularly at Foodlink in 2014.


It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Karen Leipold, one of Foodlink’s most loyal volunteers, who passed away late last week.

Karen and her sister, Debbie, have been mainstays at Foodlink since 2014. The Leipold sisters have helped stuff envelopes with acknowledgement letters for the Development Department and filed invoices for our Operations team, among other tasks. They kept impeccably precise notes of their time here on colorful, lined paper, which is how we know they volunteered here 268 times, totaling 574 hours, since April of 2014!

>> Read the obituary for Karen M. Leipold

Occasionally they would leave behind some baked goods or other treats, and a kind note (like the one below) expressing admiration for the work we do. The feeling was mutual.

“Foodlink is forever grateful for time that Karen spent with us over the course of the last four years,” said Heather Newton, Foodlink’s Director of Development. “All of our volunteers are special, but Karen was exceptional. Our staff will always remember her smile, her altruism and dedication to helping us fulfill our mission.”

A portion of her obituary reads:

“She was an avid reader, volunteer at Foodlink, 52 year member of O.E.S. & served as Matron 3 times DDGM in 1992. Active in constantly sending cards & uplifting letters. Without legs for 16 years, was never held back. She was a true inspiration.

Family will receive friends 5 – 7 PM Thursday, April 5, 2018 at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 2636 Ridgeway Avenue.”

On the eve of Volunteer Appreciation Month, we cannot think of a more dedicated pair of volunteers than the Leipolds. There are thousands of volunteers that enter our doors every year — including dozens who visit us multiple times per week and feel as though they’ve become part of our staff. 

Karen was like that, too. She was one of us, and we’ll always remember her service. 

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