Featured Volunteer Michele Hogue
Free time what is that?? My name is Michele Hogue and I have trouble with free time. It is hard for me to sit around, watch TV and relax. Sewing is my stress relief. Last July I saw information about The Preemie Project and thought what an awesome cause. My one and only son, Josh had graduated from Clear Creek Amana last May and I was wondering what I was going to do without all of his school activities. The Preemie Project has been perfect. I am definitely hooked! I love the fact that I can work on my own and decide what I want to make. I really enjoy the work groups because you get to meet other volunteers and sew all day long. I’m a Work Group MVP!
I grew up on a dairy farm near Coggon, Iowa (north of Cedar Rapids). Being the oldest of five children, I know how to take care of others and the value of hard work. We worked together as a family taking care of the animals and crops. My mom taught me to sew and embroider probably when I was around eleven. I’ve made items such as Halloween costumes, snowmen, curtains, wedding flowers, bibs, and quilts. Baby quilts are my favorite. Ask any of my ten nieces and nephews, they each have at least one. I am working on another round of larger quilts for birthdays.
When I graduated from high school, I came to the University of Iowa and have never left. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I worked in social service agencies such as the Crisis Center, Legal Services, Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County and the Emergency Housing Project (now known as the Shelter House). Working in those agencies gave me a sense of pride and commitment to helping others. In 1998 I started working at the University of Iowa in the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health. Epidemiology is the study of disease and how it affects the human population.
Our department does invaluable research in areas such as cancer, birth defects, infectious diseases, and mental illness. I’m currently the Human Resources Coordinator. It is challenging but the variety is great for me. In addition to The Preemie Project and work, I volunteer as the secretary for the Clear Creek Amana Foundation. When I am not sewing, I am attending auctions, working on the family farm and spending time with my family.