October 11 at 2:38pm

Longtime volunteer Caroline Hoffman honored with Interfaith’s annual Saemi Award

A little more than 30 years ago, Suzanne Pohlman would often see from the balcony of her Escondido home a small couple driving past in a huge car with the trunk riding low to the ground. She would hear it go “clunk and clunk and clunk,” as it rode over speed bumps in the road. What was in the trunk? Pohlman wondered.

It turns out that it was food, which Caroline Hoffman, and her husband, Morris, would pick up from a nearby storage shed and deliver to the homes of people in need in the community. This was before Interfaith, then known as North
County Interfaith Council, was incorporated in 1982. The Hoffmans were among the agency’s first volunteers.

Remarkably, Caroline, now 93, is still providing assistance to people at Interfaith. She continues to volunteer every Friday as an intake worker, interviewing people when they first walk through the door to determine what their needs are and what resources are available to them. She began that service as one of a group of 12 people from Temple Adat Shalom in Poway, who in 1982 began 18 months of training in counseling peo- ple facing difficult life situations.

That training has served her well during 30 years as a volun- teer in the intake department. Ask her today why she contin- ues to do it, and she’ll tell you, “I feel I’m helping people. It’s something I want to do. It’s very satisfying.”

“I feel I’m helping people. It’s something I want to do. It’s very satisfying.”

The Hoffmans owned a dental lab in suburban Chicago be- fore moving to North County. They got involved with Inter- faith shortly after moving here. And Caroline has provided a helping hand to many ever since. To salute those long years of service, we today present the Saemi Award to Caroline Hoffman, honoring her as a volunteer who exemplifies the Inter- faith Community Services spirit of giving.