Carol Wirsbinski is the current president of The Open Door’s Board of Directors after being involved with the organization for nearly ten years. Carol is passionate about her work for The Open Door because she believes it has brought several aspects of her personal background together.
Carol grew up on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin where fresh food was plentiful and never wasted. After college, she entered the business world, working in the technology industry for her career. Innovation and deployment of technology was fast-paced and required dedicated teams.
“I wanted to do something where I could participate and engage in my local community because when I worked full-time, I was typically working on things that were national in scope and I didn’t get a chance to work in my local community,” Carol said.
Innovation was initially one of Carol’s favorite aspects of The Open Door, and it is still the reason she chooses to dedicate her time to The Open Door instead of other local nonprofits.
“Creative and dedicated staff and volunteers at The Open Door are more reminiscent of the technology space than typically found in small non-profits.” Carol said. “This past year when many nonprofits simply said it was not safe to serve their clients, The Open Door stepped up and figured out how to get it done because the work was more relevant than ever before.”
Carol is most proud of how much The Open Door has grown since the early days of navigating how to bring food to people in the suburbs. She recalls a time when The Open Door’s mobile distribution was a bus where people would walk on and shop the food that had been packed onto
the bus. Carol and other volunteers quickly realized that they could only serve seven or eight people before the food on the bus would need to be moved back to the pantry to keep it fresh.
The current mobile distribution programs that reach over 20 neighborhoods and feed thousands of people is Carol’s proudest accomplishment throughout her time on the board.
In addition to the mobile distributions, Carol is passionate about The Open Door’s gardens. She loves that they provide versatility for clients to grow their own fresh food and choose what they want in their own gardens.
“I was inspired by the gardens grown by The Open Door, so I decided to plant a garden at my cabin in northern Wisconsin. It was the first year I’d done it last year and as the food matured and I picked fruits and vegetables and I could not believe how gratifying that was to me,” Carol said.
Carol also helped the Eagan High School’s Interact Club students build their own giving gardens on their school’s property because she wanted to support young people who are providing service to the community.
In the future, Carol hopes to expand The Open Door’s services to provide more than food for people who need it and to consider additional services for clients and guests.
When Carol is not working or volunteering, you can find her at her cabin, going for a bike ride, and browsing the fruits and vegetables aisle at a local grocery store.
Thank you Carol for everything you do!