RSVP’s volunteer spotlight is shining on John this month! We caught up with John for lunch this week and asked him about his volunteering experience:

How long have you been a volunteer, John?

I have been an RSVP Volunteer since 2013 but I have been working with the RSVP program since 2005.

Why do you volunteer?

The community has always been good to me and I feel that I owe it to the community to pay it back. I also love to work with children. I have worked with children all my life and after I retired I still wanted to continue to work with them. Volunteering allows me to do that and the kids keep me young.

Where do you volunteer and what do you love most about it?

In 2014, longtime volunteer and chief reader for “RSVP’s Story Time for Head Start passed away.  Stan was a good friend of mine and I felt that I should continue Story Time in his memory and honor.  I’ve gathered a group of retired teachers to continue the tradition. I am also a guide at the Worcester Historical Museum for fifth graders, though I mainly volunteer with the Worcester Public Schools.  All in all, I get more in return than I give out.  The kids reward you every day.

Monthly, I am privileged to write letters to active duty military and veterans through RSVP/Operation Gratitude.  I also volunteer at the Hanover Theater and for Audio Journal, where I enjoy reading to the news to the blind and participating in Radio Active Theatre.

What is your most memorable moment as a volunteer?

Three years ago when I was reading the Polar Express to a group of children, I realized the bell I had brought was broken. It would not ring because the little ball had fallen out. I downplayed that part in the story, so I wouldn’t upset any of the children. After the story was over, a boy approached me asking about the bell and I told him I was sorry and that it was broken before I arrived. He said “Don’t worry, I heard it ring.” I think of this story like it happened yesterday.

How has RSVP helped you with your volunteering experience?

RSVP makes it easy to connect to other agencies and they set up everything up for me. The staff is supportive and if I have any questions or concerns I know I can ask for help. I enjoy visiting the RSVP staff on a regular basis and love the mission of RSVP.

Thank you, John! We are so grateful for your service.