Today we are delighted to introduce you to our Board Chair, Dr. Kay Colbert, who has generously served on The Magdalen House Board of Directors for over a decade. Kay joined the Board in 2009 and stepped into the role of Board Chair in October 2015, where she has worked with the Executive Director, Lisa Kroencke, to improve and grow The Magdalen House in a direction consistent with our core mission and values. In that time, she has helped develop our working Board, expand our staff, increase outreach, and develop a strategic plan to serve our community more intentionally.
1. What moved you to serve on The Magdalen House Board of Directors?
In 2008, I brought a woman to The Magdalen House who needed help. From the minute I walked in the door, I felt the remarkable healing and caring atmosphere. As a social worker, I was so impressed with The Magdalen House as a whole, especially their focus on offering no-cost services and support for families. I also have a loved one in recovery and know first-hand how critical these services are for our community.
2. What is something that you are excited about for The Magdalen House?
I am so excited about our move this spring into our new location at 4513 Gaston Avenue. Although our house on Redwood is so special and holds many fond memories, it cannot sustain our programs’ growth. Our new home on Gaston is beautiful, larger, and in an area that is more accessible to women that need us. I am so proud of how we’ve grown, thanks to our fantastic staff, volunteers, and Board members!
3. Tell us about something inspiring or moving that you’ve witnessed in your time serving?
There is so much inspiration that comes with serving The Magdalen House on a daily basis. One memory that stands out for me is one day, some years ago, when I was volunteering on-site. A man in a cowboy hat (a complete stranger) walked up to me and handed me a check for $5,000. He said he didn’t want any recognition, just thought we were doing good work in the community and wanted to donate. Since then, I have witnessed so much philanthropy come our way from equally dedicated and generous donors. But this first experience stays with me to this day.
4. We know you’re not in recovery, but do you have a favorite line in the Big Book?
“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” (Page 417)
This passage describes the importance of acceptance. We may not like something in life, we may be uncomfortable, but the trick is not to try to fix it, or control it, or fight it, but to just accept what is here, right now, with equanimity.
5. Who or what inspires you?
Helping others be their own agents of change.
6. Besides volunteering for The Magdalen House, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy hiking in the wilderness of Montana or New Mexico with my husband and my 3 Labs!
Read More from Kay: Why I Give
About Dr. Kay Colbert
Dr. Kay Colbert has been on the Board of Directors of The Magdalen House since 2009 and currently serves as Board Chair.
Kay is a Licensed Clinical Social worker currently in private practice in Dallas, Texas. She specializes in substance abuse and addictive behaviors, as well as women’s issues. Kay has been volunteering with community organizations and advocacy groups for the past 30 years, and has worked for several non-profit organizations. Kay is the author, with Roxanna Erickson Klein, of Engage the Group, Engage the Brain: 100 Experiential Activities for Addiction Treatment, published by Central Recovery Press.
Kay holds a BA from Emory University, an MSSW from Univ. of Texas at Arlington, and a Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice.