Do-it-all gals

Mother-daughter team Jan and Janine Rinker give of themselves in any way they can

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You name it, they've probably done it.

Jan and Janine Rinker are no strangers to charitable work. From building homes to distributing food, the mother-daughter team is a local volunteering force.

"You feel like you're accomplishing something, and you get to meet people you wouldn't get to otherwise," Janine said. "It's really not a lot to give for the satisfaction you get."

Janine, 26, and Jan, 63, live with husband, Ken, and 23-year-old son, Arthur. Jan, originally from Michigan, and her family have moved a few times within Yampa Valley and have settled on a home on Moffat County Road 174, west of Craig.

Jan's parents instilled the importance of helping others in her, and it's a value she's passed down to Janine.

Jan and Janine often volunteer side by side. Their nonprofit resume includes SHARE Craig, an organization that distributes low-cost groceries; Interfaith Food Bank, of which Jan is president; Friends of the Library, a support group for Moffat County Libraries; Habitat for Humanity, which is renovating its first Craig project home at 745 Yampa Ave.; and Black Mountain Theatre, of which Janine is secretary.

The women spend most of their spare time, however, at First Congregational Church, where they are members. Jan serves on the congregation's hospitality committee and is the chairwoman of the Board of Christian Education. Both help with the church's annual vacation Bible school each summer.

"The amazing thing about Jan is that she just wants to do the work," said Bob Woods, pastor of the church. "She doesn't want recognition."

Woods recalls one day when volunteers working on the Habitat project had a potluck lunch. Woods worried there was not enough food for everyone, but Janine reassured him.

"This is like the loaves and the fishes," Janine said. "You have to have faith there's enough food."

That message moved Woods to include the Rinkers in his sermon the following Sunday.

"(Jan) has such strong faith that everything's going to be alright," Woods said. "She does so much and doesn't worry about her own security. She cares so much about other people and cares for their needs, and knows that God will provide for her, too."

Woods said Janine's role at church is designing bulletin boards and brochures.

"She's a very artsy, creative sort of person," he said.

Whether it's working with children to teach them a new craft or pounding nails to build a new house for a Craig family, volunteering is not a responsibility the women take lightly.

"Somebody's got to get involved and do it," Janine said. "It does seem like there are a few people who are active in several things, and other people who just complain."

But volunteering so much of their time often leaves little left for fun.

Jan enjoys knitting and making crafts. Janine likes reading, crossword puzzles, sketching and painting, sewing, tye-dyeing, working with knitting looms and cooking.

"Other things don't (always) get done (when we're volunteering)," Janine said. "Housework doesn't get done. Hobbies don't get done. Sometimes it is a choice."

Jan said she's getting better at saying "no." But to her, the sacrifices that come with volunteering are worth it.

Janine said she and her mother aren't much interested in making headlines for their work. That's not why they do it.

"People don't volunteer for fame. They volunteer to get things done," Janine said. "It kind of defeats the purpose when people focus on you instead of the organization.

"What you're really looking for is what the organization is working toward."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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