CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - If you ask fellow volunteers about Doug Thompson, they'll tell you he's a 'go-to' guy who never says 'no'.
Even on the coldest days, you’ll find him walking dogs and cleaning kennels at Dogs Forever in Cedar Rapids. His wife Joyce got him involved as a volunteer four years ago. It’s been a good fit for Doug, his fellow volunteers and the dogs. "When they met Doug, they knew it was good,” says Dogs Forever volunteer, Lisa Paulos. “They didn't always know why, but Doug was a good reassuring person for them."
Dogs at Dogs Forever can be hard to place. So when one dog kept coming back, Doug and Joyce took her in. “The third time she came back, we didn't have any spots here,” says Thompson. “So we went ahead, my wife and I, fostered her, until she got adopted again."
The fourth time was a charm for Darby, who's now a permanent member of the Thompson family.
Doug's "day job" is building engineer at Grant Wood Elementary. But as parents will tell you, he's so much more. He's there for every PTA meeting and can find or fix anything for after school events. He's a leader with Green Team and co-founded the school running club, helping kids find their stride with exercise and confidence. “I just wanted to help out; just to make the kids happy,” he says. “We've got a great bunch of parents and parent volunteers at Grant Wood."
A runner himself, Doug helps the kids train for races every fall and spring, and was part of the original committee for Lace Up for Learning.
When the call came to help with the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, Doug answered, hosting orientations to prepare veterans for the trip of a lifetime. He even joined his dad Don, a Korean War Navy veteran, on a flight to Washington D.C. "My dad really enjoyed seeing all the memories and stuff,” he says.
No matter how or who he's helping, Doug's compassionate, humble nature is hard to miss. "He's a giver rather than a taker and he facilitates success in other people,” says Paulos.
KCRG-TV9 and our Show you Care sponsors will honor all of our 9 Who Care nominees at a banquet on February 16th. One of them will represent eastern Iowa at the National Jefferson Awards in Washington D.C.