A TIME TO GIVE BACK
When I have received a welcome “thank you for being a
volunteer” from a visitor to the Wildlife Refuge at Sachuest
Point, my quick response has been “When I retired, it was
time to give back.” What I have sometimes added is
“Actually I get more than I give.” And that is true!
One of the miracles of volunteering to serve others is the
personal reward of being involved in something important.
And the reward is not money exchanged for ones service as
is the case in a job or career. In my view, financial rewards
can blur the critical relationship between the server and
his/her service. Lest I be misunderstood, I never returned a
paycheck when I was working.
But as a volunteer, it is the deep satisfaction of assisting
another person, the enjoyment of meeting interesting people
from all over the world, and knowing I am doing something
significant for nature and our community. It is rewards like
these that pull me on to my next shift. There are also five
other Whitehall Farmers who are on the regular roster at the
Of course there are lots of ways to give back. Patrick and I
just became members of the club at Whitehall who have
been visited by the well known “Chicken Soup Angel” in a
recent time of need. Members here are volunteers at the
Middletown Senior Center. One member supervises a
monthly “Soup’s On” at a local church to feed the hungry.
Another owner volunteers at the Middletown library. Still
another Whitehall couple has served a number of years at
Blythewold Mansion & Gardens in Bristol.
There are many unheralded instances of Whitehall residents
quietly assisting their neighbors by clearing snow from
garage doors, cooking meals, walking pets, conducting
house checks, providing transport to medical appointments,
and many other services. I am sure there are others in our
community I am not aware of who have found a niche (or
created one) to