Celebrating the Spirit of Giving Back with Steve Giessler

Meet Steve Giessler, whose story we first shared in our April 2024 newsletter during National Volunteer Month. Born and raised on the west side, Steve’s heart beats with the rhythm of Cincinnati. A graduate of Elder High School, Steve, and his wife Linda, a Seton alumna and Elder High School nurse for over 25 years, have carved paths of community service, family unity, and personal triumphs over the course of an incredible four decades together.

In his free time, Steve is an avid runner. He’s completed 23 marathons, showcasing his impressive dedication to the sport. Linda’s commitment to walking is equally as notable; she logs over forty miles each week and has completed 20 half-marathons. Amidst these personal achievements, the Giesslers’ passion for service remains the focal point of their lives.

In 2018, the couple relocated to Liberty Township to be closer to their three children and two grandchildren. Soon after, Steve retired from Duke Energy, where he was a Supervisor in Design and Drafting. Their commitment to community and family echoes through their active involvement at St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish and Steve’s countless hours of volunteer service at Santa Maria. Steve’s journey, driven by a deep-rooted passion for making a difference, began six years ago. Armed with woodworking skills and a knack for home remodeling, Steve found his calling in volunteering at Santa Maria. Steve wears many hats at Santa Maria’s aging buildings, from fixing door locks to patching drywall and painting walls, each task is a testament to his dedication and craftsmanship.

Steve’s maintenance skills are often put to use at Santa Maria’s Joe Williams Family Center. Jessica Polzin, Santa Maria Youth Development Program Coordinator, shared, “Steve is the volunteer maintenance man for the agency. He is a jack of all trades and an overall amazing human being! He is kind, patient, hard-working, and personable. He displays incredible service while wearing a constant smile on his face.” She said that Steve has helped with plumbing, painting, hanging hardware, repairing drywall, fixing locks/door handles, repairing furniture, and more.

Santa Maria Youth Development Education Facilitator, Amelia O’Donnell, agreed with Jessica’s assessment. She said, “Steve goes above and beyond what we ask! He is always finding things to fix that we either didn’t know needed to be fixed or didn’t know were able to be fixed. He always does everything with a smile on his face.” Jessica added, “There is not a task that is too big for Steve to handle!”

Through volunteering at Santa Maria, Steve gained a deeper appreciation for the resilience and determination of Santa Maria’s program participants. Witnessing their efforts to uplift themselves through education and skill-building reaffirms his belief in the power of self-sufficiency.

During one project, Steve had a tough time finding the right paint color among all the miscellaneous cans stored in the basement, which required a lot of heavy lifting. It was then that a program participant – who did not speak English – extended a helping hand, embracing the sense of togetherness and community that Santa Maria champions. Steve has been very impressed with Santa Maria program participants, stating, “Most folks are not looking for a hand-out, but want to actively help their family.”

For Steve, the support and camaraderie of the Santa Maria staff have been instrumental. Their warm welcomes and genuine appreciation fuel his love for helping others, turning every interaction into something truly fulfilling.

And the feeling is mutual! In the words of Natalie Cokl, Santa Maria’s Workforce Development Office Coordinator, “Steve is the ideal person to have around both as a volunteer with a varied skill set, and as a human being. I feel I can speak for the whole office when I say we all enjoy his presence and that his work is valued and appreciated here.”

As we celebrate Steve’s journey of selflessness and service, let us be reminded of the profound impact one person can make in the lives of many. In a world full of kindness, Steve Giessler shines bright as an example of the incredible impact of giving back. If you would like to volunteer at Santa Maria, please contact Lynne.Rinear@SantaMaria-Cincy.org or go to SantaMaria-Cincy.org /volunteer-opportunities/.