Meet Miriam KeenHospitality, Kitchen Volunteer
From: Easton
Favorite Christmas Movie: White Christmas
Favorite Dessert: Italian cookies
Bucket list: Travel to Italy, live in New York City for a few years then move to Savannah, Georgia or Charleston, South Carolina in an old house with a big front porch and drink sweet tea with my southern neighbors.
Favorite quote: "It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season – like all the other seasons – is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them, and that's the end of this particular story"
— The Lump of Coal, Lemony Snicket
Could you tell me a little about yourself?
I grew up in Randolph and went on to attend Northeastern University. I received a B.S. in Education with a major in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Community Recreation. After graduation I was a co-teacher and director of the afterschool recreation program at St. Coletta Day School in Braintree. I then got married and left this job after having my daughter, Casey, who is now a senior at Suffolk University. I have been a stay at home mom, a substitute in the Easton Public Schools, had a skin care business and now work part-time as a receptionist at a local salon. I love to travel, get together with friends, entertain and bake. I love a good party and belong to a book club where reading is optional and socializing is mandatory.
How long have you been volunteering at My Brother's Keeper?
I have been volunteering at My Brother's Keeper for seven years. For the first two years I only came around Christmas time to make mother's baskets and wrap. Then in July of 2009 my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and sadly passed away in December of that year. Because of my daily involvement with helping my mother care for my dad, I missed the basket making day that year. Along with the void in my heart came the void in my life as to what to do with my time. The following year I was back making baskets but I wanted to help out more consistently. Deb Murray, a volunteer in the kitchen, suggested I come into the kitchen to volunteer on Thursdays, which is "community day" at My Brother's Keeper. I have been coming ever since.
I hear that you are the Dessert Queen. What is your favorite dessert to make?
My favorite dessert to make is Apple Cider Cinnamon Sugar donuts, which I made for the first time this fall. My Brother's Keeper gives me the opportunity to experiment with all different desserts and I am lucky to have so many willing participants to try them.
What keeps you coming back to My Brother's Keeper?
I have made some life long friends at My Brother's Keeper. Just about three years ago I was asked to be on committee that hosts a women-only function that brings in new volunteers to My Brother's Keeper. The event is called the "Lovely Ladies Spring Dinner." We start planning for the event in December right through to April when the event is held. If I volunteered for a hundred more years I could never give back what volunteering at My Brother's Keeper has given me. I am not a very religious person but I have certainly found a sense of faith!
What is your favorite part of My Brother's Keeper?
Even though I know exactly what the warehouse will look like when it is transformed into what I call Santa's workshop for the Christmas season, there is something about seeing all the bikes above the wrapping stations that brings tears to my eyes year after year. Maybe it's the inner child in me or maybe it's the mother in me knowing some child's face will light up when they see that bike.
Is my Brother's Keeper the first non-profit that you have volunteered at?
No, my dad was a great role model for volunteering, so I got involved in a few fundraising events with him when I was in high school. During my time at St. Coletta's I became very involved in the Special Olympics program through which I coached cross-country ski, basketball and track and field. After having my daughter I also gave up coaching. I was fortunate to become involved again about eight years ago when I coached an integrated basketball team at an elementary school in Brockton.
Thank you, Miriam, for making a difference at My Brother’s Keeper!
For more information about Volunteer Spotlight, please contact Samantha Gignac:

A suggestion: Ask yourselves this question.
"Am I my brother's keeper?" If the answer is Yes, perhaps you would like to join us, as we go Along the Way in spreading the Love and Hope of Jesus Christ.

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My Brother's Keeper, Inc.
P.O. Box 338
Easton, Massachusetts 02356

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"Whatever you do for the most humble of my people, you do for me."
Matthew 25:40