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Schmidt follows God’s mission with volunteering

By GREG SCELLIN
Signal Editor

Geneva super volunteer Jill Schmidt was recently a featured speaker at the Rotary District 5650 District Conference in Omaha.
Schmidt gave the group assembled on the Creighton University campus a presentation on the WHALE (We Have A Little Emergency) project she has brought to Nebraska.  After a serious accident involving her sister, Schmidt realized the importance of having special stickers attached to the back of a child seat with emergency information including the child’s name, date of birth, medical information, guardian’s names and phone numbers and other pertinent information. In some incidents, a child could be separated from a parent or the parents are critically injured or unable to talk.  This information lets first responders know particulars about a child when they immediately arrive at an accident scene
The District Rotary group was so impressed with the WHALE project that the group purchased 5,000 stickers to be distributed and placed on car seats in the Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs metro areas.  They plan on doing continuous fund-raising to provide more-and-more stickers to those requesting them in Nebraska.
The WHALE program is just one of the volunteer projects that keeps Schmidt busy.  The 20-year Rotarian has served on her local Rotary community service board for nine years and also works of the Rotary Coat Drive and the Literacy in a Bag projects.
Other volunteer projects spearheaded by Schmidt include the local Christmas Store and child-safety car seat checks with Fillmore County Good Beginnings.
“I really think that God puts it in my heart to go out and do his mission work,” Schmidt said. “I prefer working with youth, and seem to center my efforts with them.  I am following his mission for me.”
Currently, Schmidt is centering her attention on the Christmas Store, which is closest to her heart along with the WHALE project.  The Rotary Coat Drive is also in full swing.  Schmidt anticipates 240 kids being apart of the December 9 Christmas Store and 155 new coats being needed for the coat drive. Financial contributions can be sent to 974 G Street, Geneva, NE  68361. Designate on your check which project you are contributing to.  Volunteers and donations of gently-used toys are also appreciated. Schmidt also notes that she is more than willing to give any civic group or other gathering a presentation on these local charities.
Jill and her husband, Ron, have two daughters who attend Fillmore Central High School.  She has owned and operated a cafe and catering business in Geneva for 24 years.  Ron farms near Diller and they own businesses in Hebron.