Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Kugler

Faces of To Life! - Susan Kugler

Every day we marvel at the good work of countless volunteers here at To Life! We have committed space in each newsletter so we can share the backstory of some of them. Susan Kugler has served on our Gala committee as Chair of the Silent Auction and we think you should get to know her.

How did you first hear of To Life! and what made you want to be involved?A board member thought I would enjoy a challenge in retirement. He was right! Working on the silent auction is right up my alley - a big project to be organized, directed, and implemented. Keeping track of a lot in my head is one of the things I do best.

(Published in To Life! Fall 2016 Newsletter)

How does it feel to do the work that you do for To Life!? I’m glad I do it. Its a good way to meet new people, keep myself sharp, have fun, and feel useful all at the same time.

What do you find most challenging about the cause?As a nonprofit, To Life! competes for resources with many other breast cancer organizations, as well as a wide range of other nonprofits. I feel that since it’s a women’s cause, primarily, and its not a "fun" area of service, its harder to get the attention of supporters.

What is your favorite thing to do at To Life, and why?My favorite thing to do at To Life! is to help in a way that I know makes a difference to the staff. I like to be "full service", if that’s what makes their job easier. Staff is limited - so if I can take something off their plate, that’s what I like to do. I like the opportunity to be creative, efficient and effective in preparing and "producing" the silent auction.

How would someone who knows you well, describe you?I think anyone that knows me would describe me as not exactly perfect. People think I am smart, organized, funny, empathetic, creative, and artistic. I work hard to be all the above. It’s important to me to follow a very strict karma code for myself. However, sometimes I may appear to be doing the opposite - but people know that I only use my evil for good.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering at To Life! Are you involved in other organized causes?To Life! is my only organized cause. I like to read, quilt, paint, have deep conversations with friends, do yoga, stay active, and be a new doting grandma. I like nature, and being outside, and noticing all there is to notice out there. I like to think about life’s big picture.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?That’s easy. I went to college to be a gym teacher. I never got into the program, ended up being a health education major, then spent 33 years doing budgeting and working with numbers - after only having taken one college math course.

What would you tell someone who might be interested in donating their time or resources to To Life!?To me, the most important part is that the organization’s cause is an important one, and there are few human and financial resources for To Life! to accomplish all they would like. Anything you can do to help the staff is a way to help the clients. I’ve been fortunate not to have a lot of personal experience with cancer,.but those I know who are dealing with it, do so bravely, but often could use someone to help them be brave. Those are the kind of people who deserve an organization like To Life!