Meet Kim Bomberger
What could you not live without?
I’ve learned that other than air, food, water and the sustaining hand of God, there’s not really anything I can’t live without. I can say that I am most grateful (in no particular order) for my family, coffee, hugs, a TempurPedic Cloud mattress, chocolate, outdoor bistros and coffee places, my back yard, living close to the ocean – even though I don’t get there often enough, music, meaningful work, laughter, friends and faith.
What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
My favorite sport is sitting on porches – so I don’t go out of my way to do scary things. (I have gone white water rafting and jumped off of a 15 ft. rock into the New River in WV, but that was only because I had to convince my 9 year old daughter that there was nothing to be afraid of.) Other than that – if scary is involved, it’s because it finds me. Like the first night I moved into my very own third-floor apartment. I was 40-something and living all by myself for the first time in my life. I looked around at 2:00 a.m. before going to bed and thought “wow – this is what it feels like to be single and living on my own.” At 4:00 a.m. I awoke to bright lights flashing in my window. I looked out to see fire trucks below and people running around like crazy and thought “something’s on fire” – then discovered it was me! I was rescued off the third floor balcony by a strapping fireman, and realized that if I could survive that experience, everything else would be a piece of cake! (Oh, and I didn’t start the fire.)
Where is the most exciting place you’ve ever been?
Exciting is right up there with scary, so I haven’t exactly sought out exciting destinations. I have been to the Bahamas and stayed at the beautiful Atlantis resort (thanks Baby Brother) and that was pretty fabulous!
Who is your hero, and why?
People who quietly give themselves in selfless acts of service. I’m so honored to meet these people on a regular basis. Of course, my job is then to ruin the “quietly” thing, because I love telling their stories to inspire others to do the same!
What is your philosophy on life?
Love God and love people – everything else will work out.
What is your all time favorite joke?
Any that my granddaughters tell me. They’re hilarious!
What song would be included on the soundtrack to your life?
It would have to be mellow. I’m thinking James Taylor’s Shower the People You Love with Love would have to be in there someplace.
What did you want to be growing up?
I loved reading so decided, with somewhat faulty logic, I should be a writer. I also told my mom that I wanted to do something to help people and she suggested I might enjoy being a social worker. My dad said there was no money in social work (who knew?) and that I should be a beautician. It’s funny how things work out. I get to write regularly as part of my job, and while I didn’t become an author, I did have a couple of magazine articles published, and I spent a year working with a good friend on a start-up B2B publication – that was so much fun! (Sorry Dad, there was no money in that either. And the kids will tell you based on some of their ‘homemade haircuts’ that I would have starved as a beautician.)
What inspires you to work at HOJ?
At a point of re-inventing my life – or Life 2.0, The Awesome Years as I like to think of it, it occurred to me that I was probably going to have to work for the rest of my life, so it would benefit me to find something I would love to do forever. At that time I was working for a corporation that paid well but was draining the life from my soul (I tried the money-thing, Dad – really!) One day I was describing my ‘dream job’ to a friend and it was “a job with an organization ‘like VJ’ where the work I did would make a difference.” (I had worked at Volunteer Jacksonville previously for a brief period doing admin support.)
Within a week, I received a call from my former boss telling me there was an opening and she wanted me to come in and apply for it. Coincidence? The beauty of working for HOJ is that I don’t have to settle on one nonprofit cause to champion. We work with so many extraordinary agencies that touch the lives of thousands of people in our community. It’s a privilege and honor to work each day. And I get free grammar lessons from Judy Smith, the Grammar Guru!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
I dabble in photography, love to sing harmony, and am a tad bit geeky – ok, maybe more than a tad. I fall asleep watching adventure movies (even in the theater – it’s downright embarrassing!) and love comedies – romantic, dark or off-the-wall. I’m hooked on Word With Friends. I have the most amazing, supportive husband in the world who loves me unconditionally, 2 sons, a daughter, 4 granddaughters, one grandson, another grandbaby on the way and a partridge in a pear tree. (Just kidding about the partridge, but I do have a hawk that visits me regularly.) I homeschooled my kids from K-12 and I think I did ok, because I’m proud to say that they are some of the finest human beings you will ever meet. Each has so much compassion and in very different ways are touching the world for good.