March 18, 2015

Epiphany League Member Christie McRae Kirmse

1. When did your interest in service come about?  My first volunteer experience was when I was 13.  My mother was the head of the Volunteer Bureau in Topeka, KS, where I grew up.  In 1966, a tornado decimated our city I spent the days after the disaster on a food truck serving meals to families who lost their entire home in the tornado.  After that I spent several years as a candy striper at the local hospital.

2. How did you decide to choose to volunteer your time on behalf of the women and children of Epiphany Center?  My dear friend, Valerie Erickson, invited me to the Celebrating Mother’s Day Luncheon last May and late last year, asked if I would be interested in joining the Epiphany League.  I thought about it and decided even though I now live in Napa, I could make the commitment to such a wonderful cause.

3. Favorite memory, either with the League or Epiphany Center? I have only been with Epiphany for two months, and my favorite memory was spending time with Executive Director Sister Estela to discuss how we might better support the clients by offering them an education regarding healthy nutrition.  Wholesome eating is very important for a good life, and I think we can help the women make better food choices and learn to cook delicious, inexpensive, and nutritious meals for themselves and their families.

4. What or who inspires you?  The person who currently inspires me the most is Dr. William J Walsh, author of “Nutrient Therapy.”  Dr. Walsh has been studying mental illness for over 30 years and discovered that all classes of mental illness are caused by one of seven mineral imbalances in the brain.  Dr. Walsh has successfully treated over 30,000 patients by compounding a formula of vitamin, minerals and amino acids which rebalances the minerals in the body, alleviating mental illness. 

5. Of the five major Vincentian Values of Respect, Compassionate Service, Simplicity, Advocacy for the Poor, and Creativity, which one is your favorite to practice and why? Although I am a very creative person by nature, the value I hold highest is compassion.  Without compassion for others, we would have a disastrous society.  Unfortunately, we are not all born with equality.  For those of us who were lucky enough to grow up in loving, supportive families that allowed us to thrive, it is incumbent upon us to help those who are less fortunate.
Photos found here and here.


The League’s purpose is to raise funds to ensure service for the most vulnerable women, children, and families in San Francisco, to directly benefit clients through service projects, and to broaden community awareness of Epiphany Center. If you would like to join the Epiphany League, please contact us at 415.351.4055.