Experienced EveryStep Volunteer Toni Parkins Steps into Volunteer Coordinator Role

Toni Parkins

An EveryStep volunteer since 2012, Toni Parkins has about done it all — from housekeeping to gift wrapping, Toni has a long history of supporting EveryStep’s many programs and events.

Toni’s volunteer journey was prompted by the utilization of EveryStep’s Kavanagh House hospice home in Des Moines by close family members. “I was very impressed with the staff and volunteers our family encountered, and the level of care and support EveryStep provides. My grandma’s passing really opened my heart to volunteering and serving others.”             

Toni began volunteering with regular shifts at EveryStep’s Kavanagh House, beginning with housekeeping tasks and eventually working her way into patient and family support. Soon she also began making deliveries, helping at EveryStep fundraising events, and with EveryStep’s Cheer Box program.

When EveryStep’s longtime hospice volunteer coordinator Susan Joynt announced her retirement, Toni knew the open position would be a good fit for her. “I bring a caring and positive attitude. I am organized and follow through when I say I will. I hope that reassures the volunteers and EveryStep team that I’m going to support them and be approachable whenever they want to chat.”

Toni says the volunteers and staff of EveryStep are what drew her to employment with the organization. “I have never met a more caring, kind, fun group of people all believing in the same level of exceptional care. No matter who I interact with, they are appreciative, kind-hearted and enjoyable. In my short time here on staff, I can also see how providing top care is encouraged all the way from the senior leaders to each department and staff member.”

With the first few weeks of her new position under her belt, Toni says she looks forward to growing her skills and supporting EveryStep’s volunteers to make their experiences even better. “I am even more energized to hit the ground running and begin getting to know our wonderful volunteers and staff. I look forward to hearing all the great stories and interactions that our team has with our patients and their families, and I look forward to becoming a larger part of the story as well. Although changing careers after 23 years can be daunting, I know this was the right decision for me and I can’t wait to share my passion and look for ways to make our volunteer force even more valued than they already are.”

A native of Adel, Iowa, Toni resides in Grimes where she enjoys spending time outside with her family and friends. She plans to continue volunteering with Des Moines-area organizations, as well as EveryStep’s Kavanagh House. Toni loves to travel and has a limited part-time job during the fall and winter working with an Iowa-based high school foreign exchange student placement organization. She also looks forward to the fall for college and professional football!

EveryStep volunteers are vital to EveryStep’s mission. There are many opportunities for volunteers to connect with peers, contribute to the community and enrich the lives of others.

To learn about volunteering opportunities in the communities served by EveryStep, visit https://www.everystep.org/volunteer/get-started.

If you or someone you know needs care or support, complete the confidential "Find Care" form at www.everystep.org/find-care. The form sends a message to EveryStep staff who then follow up with a phone call. It's a wonderful way to start a conversation and get answers with no cost or commitment. EveryStep can connect the individual to its own programs and services that may be helpful, as well as services offered by other organizations and providers in the community.