Kurt and Sheela Matthia (the two senior citizens in the blue t-shirts above) live in Pleasant Grove, Utah. They became enthusiastic Bountiful supporters in August 2021 after watching Bountiful co-founder and board member, Dr. Robert Rees, on the Faith Matters podcast entitled “Imaginative Discipleship.” Bob explained about Bountiful’s mission helping malnourished children worldwide to hosts Aubrey and Tim Chaves. The conversation turns toward Bountiful and its mission at this point in the podcast.
Bob’s interview opened new doors for Kurt and Sheela. They had recently finished serving 17 years as missionaries at the Family History Library across from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Kurt started volunteering with Bountiful within just a few months. By December, Kurt was aware that Bountiful was struggling to maintain and update it’s website. He suggested a plan whereby he would create a new website with accessible functionality to replace the old website. When everything was satisfactorily complete, then Kurt would redirect all web traffic from the old site to the new, and the old site would be retired.
Kurt’s workstation in their 55+ apartment house
From January through August of 2022, Kurt worked more than full time on the project. In late August 2022, when everyone at Bountiful was satisfied, we all held our breath and successfully made the cutover with very few glitches. Since then, Kurt has continued to maintain and refine the website while training others at Bountiful to operate and update the site on their own. In April 2023, Kurt began training a new Bountiful volunteer. Reuel Magistrado from the Philippines will assist with the website work. Kurt is very thankful for the help because he turns 82 years old later this year.
Kurt and Sheela with Bountiful’s board & employees
Kurt’s wife Sheela worked about as hard as Kurt did during Bountiful’s website development. Not only did she have to take on extra chores around the house while Kurt was doing the development project, but she proofed and made design and composition suggestions for every one of the 300+ pages that make up Bountiful’s website. Without Sheela’s help, development would have taken a lot longer.
As website development began in earnest in early 2022, Kurt asked their daughter Rachel to assist him by critiquing website design and page layout during the development. Rachel is always very busy with her work as a graphic designer for Cox Communications in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has also clocked many hours supporting non-profit endeavors over the years. Happily, Rachel said “yes” and started helping Kurt with design suggestions as Sheela focused on content. Kurt couldn’t have produced the website without their help.
As 2022 continued, Rachel was asked to join Bountiful’s advisory board. She brings her past non-profit experience to bear on other activities that Bountful undertakes to serve its worldwide mission.
Rachel, Kurt, and Sheela at the Quetzaltenango Temple
Bountiful’s new website has been stable since August of 2022. In March of 2023 Kurt, Sheela, and Rachel decided to venture out on a Bountiful NutriTour to Guatemala. They were able to meet firsthand some of the coordinators, mothers and children that Bountiful serves. A few pictures from that trip are below, but here is a link to their blog post about the Matthia family’s NutriTour to Guatemala in March 2023.
After returning from the trip to Guatemala, Kurt and Sheela hosted a fireside about their trip in their senior living apartment complex in Pleasant Grove. Here is a short video of scenes from the fireside, and additional volunteering photos are below.
Kurt and Sheela hosting a Bountiful fireside
Being a Bountiful volunteer can add new meaning to anyone’s life! Here is a link to Bountiful’s Volunteer Page.
Kurt during food supplement distribution in Guatemala
Sheela helps set up food distribution in Guatemala
Rachel during food distribution in Guatemala
Link to our Get Involved page.