Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Kathy Tomsho, August 6, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Childhood and family

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Partial Transcript: This is Kathy Tomsho being interview by Zack Lewton on August 6, 1992 for the Christian Appalachian Project Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Kathy Tomsho describes her early life moving from town to town in the Northeast United States. She talks about her family and their involvement in religion. She talks about how moving often as a child negatively affected her.

Keywords: Bethlehem (Pa.); Churches; Difficulty; Episcopalians; Fathers; Glastonbury (Conn.); Insecure; Jobs; Morris Plains (N.J.); Mothers; Mount Tabor (N.J.); Moving; Priests; Salem (Mass.); Schools; Service work; Siblings; Sisters; Traumatic experiences; Washington (D.C.)

Subjects: Catholics; Childhood.; Faith.; Families.; Parents.; Religion.; Spirituality.

00:03:59 - College experience at Georgetown University

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Partial Transcript: Did you go to Catholic schools or public schools?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho says she mostly attended public schools as a child. She talks about her decision to attend a Catholic university, Georgetown University. She talks about her college major, adjusting to college life, and her religious practices during college.

Keywords: American studies; Catholic Church; Catholic universities; Challenging; Churches; Communal living; Community life; Decisions; Ecumenical; Frustration; Georgetown University; Interdisciplinary; Jesuits; Living in community; Mass; Neighborhood centers; Private schools; Public schools; Sojourners Community; Washington (D.C.)

Subjects: Catholics; College choice; College environment; College majors; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Education, Higher; Faith.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Universities and colleges.

00:08:53 - Previous volunteer experiences

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever work with them as far as volunteer work or anything?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho talks about her previous volunteer experiences and her family's interest in volunteering.

Keywords: Careers; College freshmen; Community service; District Action Project; Family; Jobs; Low income housing; Mothers; Parishes; Soup kitchens; Tutoring

Subjects: Catholics; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Religious life; College students--Social conditions; Education, Higher; Faith.; Families.; Nonprofit organizations.; Parents.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Universities and colleges.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:11:12 - Decision to apply to volunteer at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Okay, now tell me what did you plan on doing once you graduated, or?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho talks about her interest in long-term volunteer work after graduating from college. She talks about how she learned about Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and why volunteering there appealed to her. She briefly discusses her application process.

Keywords: Applications; Attitudes; Awareness; Choices; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Communal living; Community living; Decisions; Graduation; Intentional community; Job interviews; Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Mt. Vernon House; Plans; Religious volunteer programs; Visits

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Catholics; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Faith.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:14:11 - Interview process at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell, tell me about your experience with your interview and just, just describe that process for me.

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho describes the intense interview process for long-term volunteers at Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). She talks about the screening process to make sure people are interested in communal living, her interviews with each individual program she might work with, and meeting and living with her fellow volunteers during her visit. She talks about the welcoming atmosphere at CAP.

Keywords: Adult education; Aggressive; Anxious; Caves; Caving; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Communal living; Community health; Community living; Decisions; Elderly program; Expectations; Job interviews; Lisa Bosley; Martin (Ky.); Maurice Mercier; Meeting people; Mo Mercier; Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Personal questions; Personality; Politics; Program managers; Programs; Progressive; Screening process; Struggles; Travel; Visiting; Visits; Welcoming

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Catholics; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Faith.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:20:56 - Communal living at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Okay, s--so when did you actually come to CAP?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho talks about her experience living in a community of other volunteers at Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). She talks about some of the challenges and talks about how CAP being a faith-based organization helps people get along with one another. She talks about how her parents reacted to her decision to volunteer at CAP.

Keywords: Alternative lifestyles; Attitudes; Challenges; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Christianity; Christians; Commonalities; Communal living; Community living; Community service; Differences; Economics; Moving; Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Mt. Vernon House; Parents; Prayers; Pressure; Service work; Shared beliefs; Sharing; Struggles; Supportive; Welcoming

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Catholics; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Faith.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:27:28 - Work in the adult education program at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Well, tell me about your job here.

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho talks about her work in the adult education program at Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). She talks about her students, why she prefers working with them in their homes, and how she is able to reach people who otherwise would not have the opportunity for education. She talks about how she has been received by the local people as a CAP volunteer.

Keywords: Adult education; Attitudes; Challenging; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Curriculum; Families; Home visits; Husbands; Independence; Jobs; Learning; Learning disabilities; Literacy; Meeting people; Men; Mothers; Opportunities; Reception; Relationships; School on Wheels; Students; Trust; Welcoming

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Education.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Teachers; Teaching; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:33:05 - Special projects and role as a community coordinator at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: What do you do for your community hours or whatever you call it?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho briefly talks about some of the special projects she has worked on as part of her required additional volunteer hours. She talks about how she was asked to become the community coordinator for her volunteer house and the extra responsibilities that role entails.

Keywords: Budgets; Chores; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Cleaning; Community coordinators; Community service; Cooking; Facilitation; Groceries; Meals; Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Mt. Vernon House; Organizing; Requirements; Responsibilities; Responsibility; Roles; Service work; Special projects; Temporary volunteers; Work days; Work hours

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:37:50 - Decision to extend her time at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so now I'm gonna shift gears a little bit and tell me about, since you're, you're almost done, I guess two more months or what--

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho talks briefly about her decision to extend her time at Christian Appalachian Project (CAP).

Keywords: Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Communal living; Community living; Decisions; Extension; Future; Jobs; Personal growth; Relationships; Staying

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:39:23 - Thoughts on Christian Appalachian Project's mission

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Partial Transcript: Well, what do you think about CAP sort of as a whole organization?

Segment Synopsis: Tomsho discusses her thoughts on Christian Appalachian Project's mission and philosophy and how they have changed since the early days. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Appreciation; Bureaucracy; Christian; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Concerns; Consultants; Effects; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Growth; Impact; Liabilities; Local people; Missions; Personality; Philosophy; Prayers; Programs; Respect; Retreats; Self-help; Simplicity; Strengths; Vision

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Catholics; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community life.; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Culture.; Faith.; Kentucky.; Lifestyles.; Nonprofit organizations.; Religion.; Spirituality.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers