KordenBrock-Rider Family
Welcome House of Northern KY
Organization profile

Welcome House of Northern Kentucky:

Welcome House collaborates with the community to provide a continuum of quality services for individuals and families who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, in order to eradicate homelessness, foster stability, and promote a just society.

Welcome House of Northern Kentucky
205 West Pike Street
Covington, KY 41011

Check out Welcome House opportunities at VolunteerMatch.

St. Charles Care Center:

St. Charles Care Center offers residential care for geriatric patients, for those convalescing from injuries or acute illnesses, and for those who suffer from a terminal illness. The Care Center is licensed as a Skilled Nursing Facility by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and dually certified for Medicare and Medicaid.

St. Charles Care Center
500 Farrell Drive
Covington, Ky 41011


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The Family: Kordenbrocks

By Tammi DeVille

With two adults, four busy teenagers, and six completely separate points of view, it's a major accomplishment for the Kordenbrock-Riders to get on the same page. All four of their kids play extracurricular sports and have jobs. More importantly, they each have different perspectives based on their age and interests. And those don't always align.

So as mom Jennifer Kordenbrock describes it, their twice weekly volunteer commitments are a time to get on the same page as a family – to make a difference while experiencing shared realizations about the world they live in.

She recalls one episode at the Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, a shelter for homeless women and children near the family's home in Covington, Ky. Each month the family makes a trip to the shelter, bringing cookies and other desserts, playing board games, and making jewelry and other crafts with residents. That day they found out that one of the teenagers at Welcome House went to the same high school as the Kordenbrock-Rider teens. The moment of awareness was profound.

"It makes you realize [homelessness] can happen pretty quickly," says Jennifer. "And it can happen to anyone."

In addition to their Welcome House visits, the Kordenbrock-Riders also pay once-a-month visits to the St. Charles Nursing Home for its Family Nights. There they engage elderly residents in activities to get them down from their rooms, serve them food, and visit with them. The work may seem mundane, but helping out at these local nonprofits brings the family much closer.

"It gets us together, six of us who have different lives and schedules," says Jennifer proudly. "It's almost like a holiday. It's rare that we have dinners all together – but twice a month, we are all together for this."

For the Kordenbrock-Riders, volunteering began one Christmas with the realization by Jennifer and her husband Andy just how lucky the family was. Naturally, they wanted to show their kids what they were feeling, and the two made it a goal to have the family demonstrate generosity through community service. They wondered, "Can we commit six people to do this?"

After a month of consideration they decided to push ahead, and today they feel that they really have made it work.  Twice a month through volunteering, their big "family" gets bigger – and as families do, they share their jokes, their stories, their humor, and their love.        

The good news is the kids now get it, too. When asked how volunteering has impacted them, daughter Natalie says, "It makes me thankful for what I have." Daughter Chelsea adds, "I feel good about myself when I help others."    As daughter Caitlynne says, "It brings us closer together." Son Drew declares, "It strengthens our bond as a loving, caring family."

Most importantly, the whole family agrees that being of service together and keeping this commitment has huge rewards.    

Or, as Chelsea sums it up: "It makes me proud of us."


About the Author

Tammi Lynn DeVille is the author of Changing the World on A Tuesday Night, which features profiles of 50 people from around the country who work full-time jobs or have otherwise busy lives, but find time to volunteer for a cause they are passionate about. You can follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/tammideville.

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