Isaacs carries on wife’s legacy by donating

Donor Spotlight: Steve Isaacs; picture of Steve with sunglasses in a red shirt.

Steve Isaacs lost his wife when she was 40, and they had no viable options outside of the hospital for her final days. But now, with the staff and volunteers at Caring Hearts and Hands, Isaacs does his part to give back to help others in the same situation, carrying on her legacy.

Can you tell us a bit about your life? Work? Family? 

I am from South Dakota, originally.  At least that is where I lived the longest (my father was in the Air Force). I graduated from SEMO and then from Mizzou Law School. I practiced law for about seven-and-a-half years before leaving to work with my best friend’s advertising company, where I’ve been working for the past 17 or so years.  I have a 15-year-old son named Vince.

How did you learn about Caring Hearts and Hands? 

I was previously married, and my wife Stephanie sadly passed away from breast cancer at the age of 40. We would have loved to have a place for her to spend her final days rather than a hospital, but there were no viable options.  

After her passing, I met and began dating Theresa Rardin, who coincidentally was involved with CHHC. That is what introduced me to the organization. I wanted to be able to honor Stephanie, but also help others who are in her unfortunate situation. I feel like I am carrying on her legacy when I am able to help at CHHC.

What draws you to the organization’s mission? 

Mainly the fact that I have been in the exact same situation as the families they serve today. I know how unbelievably difficult it is. To have an organization that helps take care of one of the most anxiety-producing parts of that journey—the end-of-life stage—is very important.

What is the most rewarding part about CHHC?

Knowing that they are taking some of the burden off of the families, while also often times fulfilling the patient’s desire not to die in a hospital.  

Waggoner finds many ways to give back

Donor Spotlight: Debbie Waggoner

The mission of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia rests in the hands of its donors, who fund the work of our volunteers and board members. Debbie Waggoner, who chose to a recurring monthly contribution, is just one such donor.

How did you first hear about Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia? 

“Erin Burri mentioned her mom, Cindy Daugherty was involved in a new nonprofit.  I got together with Cindy, and she told me all about it.”

What draws you to the organization’s mission?

“I lived too far away from my parents and traveled for work all the time, so I wasn’t able to be there for them much in their last years. To know there will soon be a place for people like them – people who don’t have family or whose family cannot care for them – is so very important.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.

“I grew up in the small town of Elsberry, MO, and have lived in Columbia (for the second time) since 1997. I worked for State Farm Insurance for more than 40 years before retiring in 2016. After retirement, I decided to stay in Columbia.

“A lot of my time is spent volunteering with Be the Change Volunteers, an education-focused nonprofit that travels to developing and third world countries — building and rehabbing schools, school libraries, teacher housing and playgrounds. 

“I love to travel and do that as much as possible. In August I will finally make it to my 50th state (Alaska) and this past December made it to my seventh continent (Antarctica).”  

Tell us about your family and/or those closest in your life. 

“I have one brother who lives in Jefferson City with his wife. My nephew is married with two daughters and is a Lt. Colonel in the Army.  My niece married last August.  She and her husband are traveling around the states in a motorhome, and we’ll see where they land long term. 

“Outside of biological family, my Be the Change Volunteer family and a small group of ladies called Knittin’ Kittens are incredibly important to me and I love spending time with them. 

“The best part of getting together is the laughter.”