Karen Schall of Cedar Rapids is nominated as an Everyday Hero for her decades of work helping and assisting those in need. She and others are being featured in this occasional series honoring Everyday Heroes, presented by Fairfax State Savings Bank.
Marla Remington and Karen Schall have known each other since 1979, so when Remington called to ask Schall a bunch of questions, she knew her friend was up to something.
“She told me not to ask her why,” Schall recalls with a laugh.
Despite her suspicions, Schall was surprised when she found out she was named an Everyday Hero. Those who know her are not.
Schall’s resume of community service speaks for itself, from volunteering as a candy striper when she was still in school to providing assistance for expectant mothers at Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center. She’s served as a pastoral minister at UnityPoint-St. Luke’s Hospital, provided meals at Mission of Hope and taught first grade CCD classes at St. Pius X Catholic Church.
“Karen has always been there for me and a lot of other people, too,” Remington wrote in her nomination letter. “Karen has spirit, kindness, intelligence, and cares a lot about other people.”
Schall, a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, continues to volunteer at Bridgehaven, surpassing 30 years of service with the organization. She also teaches Bible story at Linn County Jail.
“I wanted to do something helpful that would also push me out of my comfort zone,” Schall says.
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In addition to the classes, Schall attends the sentencing hearings of any inmate who requests her presence. Her attendance fills the void of those without friends or family in the courtroom.
“I am one of those people who rather serve than be served,” Schall says.