Volunteer Profile: Denise and Jim Schneider

May 21, 2013

Denise and Jim Schneider volunteer their time during pledge drives. Jim takes calls from new and renewing members, and Denise helps with data entry.

Without volunteers like the Schneiders, pledge drive would be a much more daunting task. The Schneiders, and others like them, make it fun and efficient.

Here's what the Schneiders had to say when asked about their TPR volunteer experiences:

We both come from New York by way of Wisconsin. A ‘temporary’ job for Jim teaching American history at UTSA brought us to San Antonio in 1979. Thirty-two years later he retired from there. Denise served as a school librarian in various public and private schools around San Antonio until her own retirement. Neither of our two daughters had much use for NPR when they were growing up. As adults, each has changed her opinion.

When we heard that San Antonio was getting not one, but two public radio stations, it was a lot like the feeling you have when it rains here after a long dry spell. From our travels around the country we had learned to search the lower end of the dial (we date ourselves) if you wanted informative programming. We joined TPR immediately. After years of attending station functions and getting to meet staff, we decided to get involved. Denise is a skilled typist and has been entering pledge drive data for at least ten years. Jim began answering phones at pledge drives several years after that, prompted by a friend who told him how much fun it is. An early riser from his days in rural upstate New York, he specializes in the morning shift.

Volunteering is a pleasure, even at 6:15 a.m. The task of entering data on the pledge drive, a job more necessary than glamorous, has enabled Denise to get to know staff and observe how the station operates. Answering phones during pledge drives has brought Jim in contact with former students, colleagues, neighbors and a cross section of the TPR audience. You reconnect with some of the same volunteers from one drive to the next, as well as meeting interesting new folks. We get into contests about who can get to the incoming call first. We keep track of who has gotten the call from the furthest distance. (With streaming, you’d be surprised at how far TPR reaches.) And the volunteers get fed very well, thanks to the donations of various area restaurants.

While volunteering is fun, as well as tasty, the biggest reward is being able to give back a bit to an operation that gives us so much every day.

TPR is immensely grateful for the assistance of the Schneiders. If you would like to volunteer your time, we have many opportunities including pledge drive and various events throughout the year.

  • Click here to learn more about volunteering with TPR.