In Celebration of Good People

My coworkers and I just surrounded one of our poor volunteers to tell him he was a winner.  We nominated him for a statewide award for contributions to our field, and he won handily.

It’s hard to say too much without compromising my anonymity, but I have to say a little bit.  This is a fellow that started to develop a relationship with my office in 1975, around about the time yours truly was learning to walk.  The relationship accrued mutual benefits, grew over time, and he ended up becoming not only a friend of the office, but a donor as well – the best kind of donor, the kind of well-known and respected fellow who, without prodding from you, gets others to believe that what you’re doing is important enough to donate, too.

When he retired from his job in 1988 (when I was in high school) he started volunteering here one day a week.  He’s in his mid-eighties, but he’s here today, leaving his wife in their retirement condo to come in for a few hours and help folks out.  His knowledge and his contacts have benefitted us immensely and when he eventually stops coming in will be utterly irreplaceable; he’s never asked a thing in return but an opportunity to keep coming in and helping out.  I wrote his nomination letter and I had to lower the font size twice to fit it on a page.

So I say to him:  Sir, your award is well-earned, and yet wholly insufficient for all you’ve done for us.  You’re an inspiration, Charlie.  And thanks.

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4 Responses

  1. Awesome. And a much nicer topic than the vitriol I posted earlier.

    Hey, vitriol is still good in its own way. Guys like Charlie are just walking anti-vitriol.

    Something tells me no one will EVER say that about ME.

  2. That’s great and, only because Laura beat me to it, well needed after what she said!

    It really is good to know there are still great and helpful people out there. I do tend to forget that from time to time with the morons, psychopaths, and mental defectives I deal with on a daily basis.

    Heh. You do get the winners, my friend – my condolences, but at least you get some good stories out of it. Hopefully none of them end with the sound of a gavel.

  3. I had to get out of social work to remember that there are good people out there. Always good to read about them…particularly when deserved recognition is involved.

    Well, I think the fact that there are social workers at all means there are good people out there SOMEwhere. But wow, it must be a hard profession to drag yourself out of bed for every day.

  4. Working with social workers every day, I can really appreciate Allison’s comment – sad state of affairs. But posts like these give me renewed faith in humanity and I’m always up for that.

    I’ve renewed someone’s faith in humanity?

    I’m pretty sure I earned that “Least Likely” award when I graduated high school.

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