Since her parents first taught her the practice of tikkun olam as a young girl growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, Carole Price has seen firsthand the unique benefits of giving back to her community. Tikkun olam is the Jewish idea of “repairing the world”, and ever since Carole’s life brought her across the Atlantic and all the way to Austin, she’s seen her tireless dedication to the idea make a big impact on more than just those she serves.
For the past twenty years, Carole Price has devoted herself to volunteering with Hospice Austin – from folding linens and making coffee to organizing huge fundraisers and managing strategic partnerships, she’s done a little bit of everything over thousands of volunteer hours. Primarily serving in Hospice Austin’s in-patient facility called Christopher House, Carole has shown a knack for offering one-to-one companionship to hospice patients and is one of a special group of skilled, compassionate volunteers trained by registered nurses to assist with patient bed baths. On a larger scale, Carole’s been responsible for marshalling major resources from the community – she secured a weekly flower donation from Whole Foods as well as food for Christmas lunch each year, she’s kept the Hospice Austin food pantry stocked by connecting to groups like Keep Austin Fed and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church resulting in thousands of patients being fed, and she’s even set up a trust with her husband Kerry to benefit Hospice Austin for years to come. “She will do whatever is needed,” says Rev. Nancy Chester McCranie, Director of Volunteer and Bereavement Services at Hospice Austin. “She has given so much to our community through her service to our organization, from her time and energy as a hands-on volunteer, to spearheading food drives for our food pantry, to helping raise money, to providing a delicious lunch every Christmas Day. She’s simply amazing.”
“Carole’s life mission is to help others,” adds Hospice Austin’s volunteer coordinator Phillip Sadler. “She is a tireless, devoted, big hearted, and generous supporter of Hospice Austin. Her value to the organization and our community cannot be overstated.”
So why does she do what she does? Carole believes she might be the only Scottish Jewish person in Texas, and that her unique position allows her to represent both her faith and her heritage with every interaction. But longtime friend Chaka Varley believes there’s more to it than that. “Her parents were actually hospice volunteers in Scotland,” she says. “She was greatly influenced by her parents and their desire to not only give back to the community but to make it part of life. That’s what I think sparked her interest – they were very happy and gratified as hospice volunteers. It’s been a big piece of her life the past 20 years.” Chaka laughs, then admits, “Even when Carole has birthday parties she has people bring canned good to donate to the pantry. She does good things!”